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Panera Bread to Open at Vintage Oaks

The new cafe is scheduled to open in April 2013 at the site of the former Tilly's clothing shop.

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.

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Anthony December 03, 2012 at 08:40 PM
Great location for them! Glad to see some more tasty food coming to Novato :)
Norma Dawson December 03, 2012 at 08:46 PM
We are becoming the town of chain fast food, ugg!! Panda Express, In & Out, Panera and soon Chik-Fil-A. I'll stick with Jennie Low's, Las Guitarras, and Creekside Bakery. Brent, I have seen some movement in the Pini Building, just fixing leaks or something more hopeful?
Betty Pancakes December 04, 2012 at 03:16 PM
I believe the Panera menu is bread-heavy. Does that mean the Atkins craze is officially over?! How else is a carb-laden menu going to survive here (or anywhere for that matter?). If I had my druthers, I'd like to see a great sushi shop open up instead. Not thrilled with the options for sushi in Novato. Then again, I have always dreamed of opening up my OWN restaurant ... not sure if the Novato community would turn out, though ... after all, I'd only have ONE thing on MY menu!!! (but plenty of toppings to choose from: maple syrup, fruit syrup, powdered sugar, jam, butter, whipped cream, etc, etc).
jam December 04, 2012 at 03:38 PM
I think it is wonderful that Panera Bread is coming to Vintage Oaks. It is exactly what that shopping center needs. Can't wait for In-N-Out Burger to get here too. There are enough Chinese and Mexican food restaurants in Novato.
jam December 04, 2012 at 03:48 PM
If you would only have one thing on your menu, and I assume it would be pancakes, wouldn't your menu would be "carb laden" too? What's the difference! At least Panera Bread offers vegetable soups and salads... a better choice than unhealthy pancake toppings. Besides, Novato already has a "pancake" restaurant.
susan fischer December 04, 2012 at 04:23 PM
YEA! Panera Bread - great choice! Their homemade breads are great! It will do well at Vintage Oaks!!! And they have wonderful soups and salads!!

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