Panera construction could start in summer
A construction timeline for the new Woodstock Panera Bread location has not been confirmed, but there is an indication construction could be completed before fall.
Eve Metheny, director of brand marketing for Harma Enterprises, said a summer groundbreaking date would likely be announced in three weeks. Once the groundbreaking date is set, Metheny said the store is anticipated to be completed within 90 days. Once construction begins, Metheny said, the restaurant can be built in four weeks.
“Until we know when we’re going to break ground, it’s hard to say [when we’ll open],” Metheny said.
Harma Enterprises owns and operates 31 Panera Bread restaurants in the greater Chicago area. Metheny said the Woodstock location would be one of the smallest of Harma’s franchised restaurants and would be one of three that includes a drive-through window. The restaurant will fill 35 to 45 full-time equivalent positions.
While the restaurant will be somewhat smaller, Metheny said it will be designed according to Panera’s newest model, which she said offers modern décor and an efficient layout.
Building and site engineering plans for the location were submitted to Woodstock’s Community and Economic Development Department early last month.
The proposed 4,100-square-foot bakery and café will be located near the Jewel-Osco shopping center in an outlot south of the Circle K gas station located along Route 47.
According to the plans, the restaurant would have seating for 90 diners and an additional outdoor seating area. Panera has indicated that the construction costs for the property would be about $700,000.
Panera Bread, which was established in 1981, has more than 1,500 company-owned and franchise-operated restaurants in 40 states and in Ontario, Canada.