The former Victoria’s Secret site at the corner of West 85th Street and Broadway has sat vacant since it shuttered last November. A spokesperson from Meridian Retail Leasing confirmed with ILTUWS that Panera Bread has signed on to take over the southern half, roughly 2,500 square feet of the space. Panera is expected to open in 2023.
Something is better than nothing, but it’s hard to say how many Upper West Siders will celebrate the arrival of Panera Bread, the American bakery-café chain with more than 2,000 locations across the United States and Canada.
If you care (we can’t imagine why you would), Panera recently opened its first Panera To Go in Chicago, the first take-out only Panera in the country. The company has plans to open two more this year in California and Washington, D.C.
Panera Bread currently operates four locations in Manhattan (downtown to Bryant Park).
Breakfast is served until 10:30 a.m., with options including breakfast sandwiches like an avocado, egg white and spinach on a roll. There are also whole-grain wraps, baked egg soufflés, parfaits, fruit cups and oatmeal to complement its coffee, hot tea and hot chocolate. Bagels, croissants and treats like a vanilla cinnamon roll and bear claw round out this menu.
For lunch and dinner, Panera’s menu has grown to feature soups, macaroni and cheese, flatbread pizzas, salads, bakery options and warm bowls. The Featured Faves section of Panera’s website showcases The Signature Take Chicken Sandwich, The Spicy Take Chicken Sandwich and The Strawberry Poppyseed Salad with Chicken.
Drinks on the Featured Faves include the Strawberry Lemon-Mint With Guarana and Caffeine, the Fuji Apple Cranberry With Guarana and Caffeine, and a Frozen Strawberry Lemonade. If those sound exciting, you might like to know that for $10.99 a month, you can join MyPanera, where you can try exclusive new Charged Lemonades and get free refills on drinks every two hours, all while scoring exclusive reward points with access to special perks. The first month is free to try. The growing convenience of ordering through your phone saves time waiting in line.
This area of Broadway has seen a lot of vacancies as of late, but times might be changing. In March, Playa Bowls — purveyors of super fruit bowls, smoothies and juices — took over the space left behind by Origins.
We’ll keep you posted once we get a better score of when Panera plans to open.