MONROE, CT — First Selectman Ken Kellogg told the Town Council Monday that Panera Bread decided to hold off on all new developments due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A restaurant with a drive-thru had been approved for the new Town Line Plaza at 205 Monroe Turnpike.
During the meeting, Town Councilwoman Jennifer Aguilar had asked the first selectman if there was any validity to rumors on Facebook that Panera Bread was pulling out.
“We are hopeful they will come back in terms of wanting to build stores,” Kellogg said. “There is truth that Panera indicated through the developer they want to slow down. We hope they will resume the plans where they left off. It’s going to be a holding pattern for the moment.”
In 2018, the Planning and Zoning Commission approved a site plan application for Town Line Plaza, which will have a Noble gas station and convenience store, medical office space and a restaurant.
When Panera Bread expressed interest in being the restaurant in the center, the developer saw the nationally known chain as a catalyst to attract other tenants to the center.
In January of 2020, the commission approved a proposal for Panera Bread to have a drive-thru.
While plans for a Panera Bread are on hold, some progress is being made with the new commercial center. The Noble gas station is under construction, according to Kellogg.