Panera Bread has signed a lease to bring a new cafe to the Vintage Oaks Shopping Center and is scheduled to open in the spring of 2013.
According to Kathy DeOchoa, general manager of Crosspoint Realty Services, Inc., Panera Bread will take a space that was formerly a Tilly’s clothing shop just across the street from Jennie Low's Chinese Cuisine.
DeOchoa said the 7,100-square-foot Tilly’s location is being divided into three spaces and Panera will occupy 4,200 square feet and include a patio dining area.
Steve Haydu, a joint venture partner with Panera Bread, confirmed that plans have been submitted to the city of Novato for building permits.
The menu offers a mix of fresh-baked breads, pasteries and bagels, alongside a café menu of salads, sandwiches and panini.
According to the company website, Panera Bread has 39 locations in the greater Bay Area and Sacramento and this month opened two new locations in Napa and Pinole. The company’s other Marin location is at the Northgate mall in San Rafael.
The Missouri-based Panera Bread franchise is a publicly traded company [NASDAQ: PNRA] and as of Nov. 29 its stock closed at $159.88, down 2.12 from its previous close.
Tilly's corporate office in Irvine and DeOchoa did not offer information about why the store closed. Speculation could include the general state of the economy or sagging demands for the apparel sold at the store, but it could also include a choice by Novato youth and parents not to shop there anymore after some window displays depicted partying and drinking. The displays were taken down prior to a planned protest by groups working to fight binge drinking by minors.