Panera Bread
Panera Bread

CHICAGO, IL – February 4, 2014 – Panera Bread has plans to open a new 3,200 sq. ft. bakery-café on the south end of Second Street in downtown Highland Park this summer. 

With its identity rooted in handcrafted, freshly baked, artisan bread, Panera Bread is committed to providing great tasting, quality food that people can trust.  Highlighted by antibiotic-free chicken, whole grain bread, select organic and all-natural ingredients and a menu with zero grams added trans fat, Panera’s bakery-cafe selection offers flavorful, wholesome offerings.  The menu includes a variety of year-round favorites to complement seasonal items and breads baked fresh daily in each bakery-cafe by skilled bakers. 

A Neighborhood Approach

The new location in Highland Park offers a warm and welcoming environment including intimate seating areas, comfortable chairs, a community table and free Wi-Fi Internet access. 

“We look forward to opening a new bakery-cafe in such a vital community, said Mike Hamra, President & CEO of Hamra Enterprises. Many of the Highland Park residents already frequent our stores in surrounding communities and having the opportunity to develop a store in Highland Park will allow us to bring our concept closer to many of our core customers.”

An Active Community Partner

Since Panera Bread was founded, the company and its franchisees have been active participants in the communities in which it does business. This new location will join Chicagoland in giving back through its local Day-End Dough-Nation™ and Community Breadbox™ programs.

As part of the local Community Breadbox program, all donations made by customers in the new Highland Park bakery-cafe will benefit Make-A-Wish® Illinois, a charity that helps grant the wishes of children with life threatening medical conditions. For the past four years over 30 local bakery-cafes joined the community in contributing over $200,000 to Make-A-Wish® Illinois to grant 48 wishes. 

At the end of each day, Panera Bread also donates all unsold bread and baked goods to local area hunger relief agencies as part of its local Day-End Dough-Nation program.  Collectively, Panera bakery-cafes donated over $100 million worth of unsold bread and baked goods in 2012 to help people in need.

About Panera Bread

Chicago Bread, LLC, is a Panera Bread franchisee; family owned and operated by Hamra Enterprises, operators of 33 Panera Bread bakery-cafés in the Greater Chicago area.  Chicago Bread is committed to Panera Bread's focus on providing customers and employees with high quality sweet and savory products and engaging each of its café neighborhoods through community service, fundraising, and other philanthropic activities. With our identity rooted in handcrafted, fresh-baked, artisan bread, we are committed to providing great tasting, quality food that people can trust. All of our bakery-cafes have a menu highlighted by antibiotic free chicken, whole grain bread and select organic and all natural ingredients, with zero grams of artificial trans fat per serving, which provide flavorful, wholesome offerings. Our bakery-cafes routinely donate bread and baked goods to community organizations in need. Additional information is available on the Chicago Bread website, http://www.panera-chicago.com

Stu Pidasso February 04, 2014 at 01:29 PM
Im interested on how the parking plays out!! How can you go to lunch and do any shopping with the 2 HOUR time limit before you get TICKETED by these overzealous wannabe policeman CSO (community service officer ) who write an inordinate amount of tickets to preserve their job ;) Thanks for NOTHING!!!
Highlands HP'er February 04, 2014 at 03:32 PM
There are 3 hour lots too... not quite as close as the 2 hour lots. There are also the garages if you need longer. Me... I don't mind the time ceiling on a shopping trip with the wife. :)
Stu Pidasso February 04, 2014 at 06:37 PM
Agreed; that ( My comment above) is what I hear from my lady friends. Personally, I hate Shopping:)
Stuart Senescu February 05, 2014 at 10:00 AM
they should also have a 2 hour limit on Wi-Fi freeloaders. Nothing like going to Panera or their competitors for lunch and finding half the tables taken up by people with an empty coffee cup, a couple of file folders and a laptop while the customers with a tray of lunch food and who have spent more than the price of coffee, walking around trying to find a place to sit down.
David Greenberg February 05, 2014 at 10:49 AM
And how do you know that the people sitting with the coffee cup, file folders, and laptop didn't already have a sandwich and are now just spending some time to get some work done before moving on to their next appointment?
Stuart Senescu February 05, 2014 at 01:21 PM
As I said, the empty coffee cup, not the plate with the bag of chips. Also I didn't know Panera was in the free office space business. I think if the restaurant is crowded at lunch time (if it is empty at 3pm it doesn't bother me if it doesn't bother the manager) then I think courtesy says "I'm done, i'll let someone else sit here and eat, "which is the primary purpose of a Café. Maybe I can come over to your house and hang out and use your Wifi for a couple of hours. what kind of coffee can I get for $1.50?
forest barbieri February 05, 2014 at 02:18 PM
Perhaps they will choose to hang at Panera's because Starbucks does not allow concealed carry? :)
Stu Pidasso February 05, 2014 at 03:07 PM
aaah! :) good one Forest!!
AK February 05, 2014 at 03:13 PM
Panera will be stealing from SBUX, Michael's, Potbelly's and even (not impossible) from City Park Grill like full service stores. Zero sum game is not going to change the parking situation.
David Greenberg February 05, 2014 at 03:22 PM
Stuart: My point is that maybe they already bussed their plate back after eating. If you want to stop by my place, let me know - I'll make you a nice cup of Espresso, always glad to chat, or if that's not your speed, I can grind some beans for regular coffee. Perhaps we could talk about old times involving one of the D113 Caucus'? Regardless, I get your frustration with some of the patrons of Panera - I've oft wondered how they make money. But that seems to be part of their business model - let people hang out, even if they don't buy much (or anything) - the place LOOKS busy and that tends to attract other patrons, some of whom may be willing to pay...
FaceOnMars February 05, 2014 at 04:20 PM
As far as my pet peeves go, I'll take those who "hang out" and "do work" after eating vs. those who IMMEDIATELY save a table for themselves upon entering the restuarant before ordering at a counter ... all the while plenty of people already in line will most likely get their food prior to the seat savers. One of these days I'm going to stand and eat next to seat savers while they're waiting for their food.
Moe @ the Buck February 05, 2014 at 10:23 PM
To funny to think of all the courteous people on the Northshore who would give up a table anywhere. Those same people who open the door for themselves and let it slam in your face. How about those same people who are sitting waiting for a table at a packed restaurant and ignore the standing pregnant or elderly people who really need to sit. Oh the old Northshore, swimmin pools, movie stars, lawyers, guns, and pharmaceuticals! No better place to make tons of $$$$$$!
Highlands HP'er February 05, 2014 at 11:47 PM
Theres always seating at Panera. Just look for one of the tables that seats 4-6 people. There is ALWAYS one with just a single person sitting there with an empty plate (with smaller tables available). Simply sit there with your group. People need to stop being worried about being polite to oblivious/rude people. If they're oblivious, they'll never learn. If theyre rude? Well, then you're there to deliver Karma.
Meshephelous February 06, 2014 at 12:02 PM
There needs to be more leniency towards physical fighting in public places. I think a lot of the rudeness would disappear if people realized there were consequences.
Sandra Sandoval February 06, 2014 at 03:13 PM
Sounds like everyone here certainly eats at panera and is a fan, I just actually saw today where it is going to be located, are you kidding me, doesn't HP have any respect for local businesses like Micheal's (that has been here for years) really right next store?? When there is an empty Betty Schwartz or stash's?? and that street is always crowded for parking, what about Williams Sonoma or Pottery Barn? how long will they put up with this, totally crazy, with all the empty spots around town for Panera to go; this town has zero forward thinking when it comes to bringing new business's to town. My neighbors complain about the parking and go to other towns to din, and my friends from Lake Forest, won't come down here cuz of the traffic and parking, same with friends in Deerfield. I know times are a changing, but can we put a little intelligence are this!!
Stuart Senescu February 06, 2014 at 03:57 PM
Sandra, there's always parking in the underground lot across from Michaels, on the corner in the Renaissance/Saks lot. This winter it is terrific to park there knowing you won't have snowbanks to climb over or 8" of mush to slog through. And Mes, what a funny idea about fighting to cure rudeness. Just like those old western movie bar fights. Bottles being smashed over the cowboy's head, Little Joe and Lefty crashing through the front windows. That should bring a crowd to Second Street. Why combine that with concealed carry and we can have Gary Cooper - type showdowns right on Central! What an imagination!
Moe @ the Buck February 06, 2014 at 04:00 PM
I'm going to Michael's if I'm anywhere near that location. Ben is the man! I just found out that he's not the owner, well he sure acts like he is. That's great, you need a good front man. Speaking of Second street, totally miss Bobby Dubin....Not! Wonder what happened to that guy?? Anywho, want a good sandwich, Tony's Subs. Good soup cheap, Sunset Foods. Plenty of parking, and most of your phone's have wi-fi hotspots:)
FaceOnMars February 06, 2014 at 04:32 PM
Sandra, if it were an exhibit hall at a conference ... then sure, lets separate the competitor's booths; however, asking a municipality to play the role of an "event coordinator" runs counter to the spirit of the free market. Michaels survived when it had to change it's name from Nathan's and prospered for several decades. I doubt that a chain is going to disrupt "good food fast" of a different variety & certainly wouldn't want to see the City of HP turn into a complete nanny state!
FaceOnMars February 06, 2014 at 04:36 PM
As far as fighting, people's rudeness rarely rises to the level of a physical confrontation. Instead of reaching for your dueling gloves, I've found that taking a picture or series of pictures of those who've crossed the line of social etiquette can often throw them off their horse for a second or two. Let them know you're going to post about the experience on facebook (not that you have to actually follow through).
Sandra Sandoval February 06, 2014 at 05:23 PM
stuart we usually park in the garage, I was just commenting on just trying to drive down the street, and Face on Mars, not sure what u mean by Nanny state? I am reminded of the cupcake wars right across the street from one another
FaceOnMars February 06, 2014 at 07:06 PM
Sandra, I just don't believe its within the purvue of HP (or any municipality) to dictate how close or far apart competitors might be located provided all parties adhere to established zoning requirements. In such a context, "nanny state" = over-regulation beyond the scope of a zoning and the free market. Regardless, sometimes having restuarants close together can offer a synergy in so far as a "vibrant food court effect" which pulls in people for various reasons.


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