If you think it is hard to find parking on campus, try parking near any of the stores in the same shopping center as the new Panera Bread at lunchtime.
Panera opened its La Verne store Aug. 31, at Foothill Blvd. and White Ave.
“I always go to Marshall’s at lunch, but when I couldn’t find a parking spot one day it made me want to see why everyone was eating here. So here I am,” Deborah Winchester, customer, said.
The line can be seen stretching from the register to outside the front doors.
“The food is really good,” Analisa Salazar, customer, said. “It is not heavy like fast food, but it leaves you feeling full,” Salazar said.
Customers at the new restaurant last week said they plan to remain faithful.
They believe it is the only way to ensure its longevity here as the area has seen many businesses in the area come and go since the start of the recession in 2008.
The Panera Bread menu includes freshly baked bread, sandwiches, soups, salads and pastries.
Staff at the Corner Butcher Shop, a restaurant located across from Panera Bread, is also happy to have Panera Bread in the neighborhood.
“Panera Bread has helped bring more people to the shopping center,” said Will Fueling, owner of the Corner Butcher Shop. Fueling said the arrival of Panera Bread has given his shop an excuse to go in a new direction, switching the menu to Kansas City style cuisine.
Tennille Wright can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.