Panera Bread plans to open a new restaurant in East Akron that will be the first of its kind. The restaurant, which will be built on Wedgewood Drive, east of Abington Road, will feature a new design with a drive-through. Many of Panera’s locations don’t have drive-through.
“We are excited,” Kim Phillips, an architect from Warren told Akron City Council’s Planning Committee Monday about the new spot in Akron.
Phillips said Panera has had drive-throughs for about five years, but the layout for the Akron restaurant will represent the “next generation of drive-through” and “should be a vast improvement” over the old model.
Akron City Council approved plans for the single-story restaurant Monday, which will be built on a 1.2-acre lot.
Bob Hoch, who represents Ward 6 where the restaurant will be located, said he’s excited about the new addition and has heard from numerous residents who are as well.
“I think this business coming in is a plus for the city and for the ward,” he said.
No one spoke against the project during two public hearings the council held Monday.
Councilman Garry Moneypenny joked that his wife, Sandy, who is a Panera fan, had warned him that the council had better approve plans for the restaurant.
Stephanie Warsmith can be reached at 330-996-3705 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow on Twitter: @swarsmith.