Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Panera Bread to Rise in Chamblee Parking Lot

Panera Bread is proposing a new restaurant in Chamblee.  The approximately 4,300 square foot bakery & cafe would open in an outparcel of the existing Lowe's Home Improvement on Peachtree Boulevard, across from the new Whole Foods Market-anchored Peachtree Station center.  Panera Bread would join Zaxby's, which opened in an outparcel of the home improvement store in 2012.  
Typical Panera Bread drive-thru restaurant 
The Chambee Panera Bread, if approved by the city, would have a drive-thru, an amenity that Panera has added to new locations in an effort to both make its food more accessible  and to generate additional revenue.  The company recently introduced delivery to the Atlanta market as well.  

Panera is seeking variances from a total of eight sections of the City of Chamblee’s Unified Development Ordinance.  Among the variances the restaurant is seeking are "Sec. 230-30(a)(2): to allow for a drive thru to be allowed in the Storefront Street district,"  "Sec. 250-2(a)(4): to allow for 63 parking spaces in lieu of 44" and  "Sec. 250-7(a)(1): to allow parking to be located between the building and street."

The variance requests are due to be reviewed by the City Council Work Session on Thursday, November 16 and by the City Council Meeting Tuesday, November 21. 

The application and letter of intent can be found here, the site-plan and elevations here, and the staff memo, here.

Based in Sunset Hills, Missouri, Panera Bread operates more than 2,000 locations across the country including more about 30 in metro Atlanta.

Among Panera's more recent locations in the greater metro Atlanta area are restaurants in Mall of Georgia Crossing in Buford, Douglasville Pavilion in Douglasville, Power Center Drive in Dawsonville, Ernest Barrett Parkway in Kennesaw and in East West Commons in Austell, all of which have drive-thrus. 

This past weekPanera Bread announced that it purchased rival Au Bon Pain.  The deal reunites the two former sibling concepts.  Ron Shaich, Panera's CEO, announced at the same time that he will step down as CEO effective January 1.  

Are you excited for the addition of Panera Bread to Chamblee? What other restaurant would you like to see open in Chamblee?  What is your favorite new restaurant to have opened in Chamblee?

Please share your thoughts below  

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

They are asking variance to allow for more parking than required? ("63 parking spaces in lieu of 44")?

If the drive thru is located within the existing Lowe's lot and adds no additional curb cuts, I see no reason to deny it.

This section of Peachtree from Brookhaven's edge north to Chamblee Plaza is becoming quite the congested area with too many restaurants.

Anonymous said...

This absolutely will be denied by the current city council and for great reason

Anonymous said...

This would be a great addition and a drive-thru with no additional curb cuts to Peachtree Blvd would be an added bonus.

Anonymous said...

Approve immediately. That parking lot is at most 20% full on busy days, plenty of space for a building like this. Chamblee rocks.

Eric Hovdesven said...

The staff's recommendations are good ones. Good to see a city asking for less parking instead of requiring more. And the staff's point is a good one. Eliminate the parking in the front along Peachtree so that it complies with the code and it also will allow for better landscaping and treatment of pedestrians along Peachtree. Also I support denial of the drive thru. Is that why they don't show n out door

Anonymous said...

Love the drive thru! Not everyone wants to go inside. I'd love to pick up something good, go home and relax after a busy day. Can't wait!