One of the biggest complaints from residents who live in Downtown LA, including myself, has been the lack of options when it comes to good casual affordable eateries that you would find, and take for granted, in established full-service communities like Pasadena or Glendale. Not everything should be a fancy multi-million dollar restaurant with a celebrity chef helming the kitchen if our goal is to make downtown an actual livable place for residents instead of just for visitors seeking novelty. That’s why I’m happy to report that popular bakery chain Panera Bread (casual, good, and affordable) is coming to Downtown LA.
St. Louis-based Panera Bread has signed a lease at 660 S Figueroa, a 24-story office building located at 7th and Figueroa in the heart of Downtown LA’s bustling Financial District directly across the exciting Wilshire Grand Tower under construction. A fantastic location that will obviously generate a huge breakfast and lunch crowd for Panera, which serves up a variety of paninis, sandwiches, soups, pastries and fresh baked breads.
Panera Bread will take over 4,600 square feet of space that was once part of an HSBC bank branch that relocated to Brookfield’s Ernst and Young Plaza across the street. Initial demo work has begun on the new eatery, which will have a front entrance facing the Figueroa side of the building. We’re looking at an opening in late 2015.