West Roxbury Panera shuts down

Former Panera in West Roxbury

Where the large Panera sign used to be.

The Panera on Spring Street shut Monday - right in the middle of the day.

Last night, workers removed the ovens. The large Panera sign on the front is gone, although the menus over where the cash registers used to be remain illuminated.

An employee said this morning workers had known for awhile plans were in the works to shut the location, because it had never done the business of other Paneras in the area, but that the sudden closing - managers ordering everybody to start shutting things down midday on Monday was a surprise. He said the chain is trying to get workers jobs at other Panera locations, such as the ones in Dedham and Chestnut Hill.

The move comes after a franchisee bought Boston-area Paneras from the company. In September, Nation's Restaurant News reported the sale was part of an effort to increase profits in the Boston area, which the company said was "well below" the company's profit expectations.

The Spring Street location opened in 2010.

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Comments

I'll miss the place

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Yeah, it's just a chain, and it's not like the Dedham outlet is that much farther away from UHub Central here in Roslindale, but the kidlet and I shared many a broccoli-and-cheese bread bowl there.

Fortunately for my morning-bagel-and-WiFi needs, there's still Bruegger's on VFW Parkway.

Don't feel bad

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According to this op ed Chicago Tribune article:

We eat just 1 percent of our meals at fine-dining joints. Chains account for 88 percent of U.S. restaurant options.

Everyone poopoo's chains, but we all seem to still eat there. And it's almost always for price and consistency.

Another reason to celebrate chains: They’re consistent. You know what you’re getting, whether you’re eating at the Denny’s in Fairbanks, Alaska, or Honolulu, Hawaii.

And at least it was Panera.. which was OK for a chain (vs McDonald's or Applebees). You can at least get some decent healthy options there.

Umm... they're actually not

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Umm... they're actually not all that consistent. It really depends on who's cooking the food. You can get screwed up meals or decent meals at chains... or norovius from one Chipotle, but not another.

Chipotle

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I was under the impression the illnesses were from the food providers, not the method of cooking

It's both, obviously

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Chipotle prides itself on stuff done in store, such as grating cheese. It's great, but it increases the risk of disease transmission. Now, obviously, the solution is to not have sick people work, but for many chains a preferable solution is to simply prepare and package everything at a central location and ship it out to the locations all packaged up, so it can be "cooked" and "served" with minimal handling.

"Cooking"?

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I was under the impression that very little "cooking" happens at most chains. The food arrives pre-made and is thrown in a microwave or a fryolator; the "cooks" are more button-pushers and packagers. Chipotle was an exception, but will be less of one in the future, because you know.

consistency

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Umm... they're actually not
By anon (not verified) on Wed, 12/30/2015 - 9:37am
Umm... they're actually not all that consistent. It really depends on who's cooking the food. You can get screwed up meals or decent meals at chains... or norovius from one Chipotle, but not another.

But compared to mom & pop's, chains are very consistent.

There are other options besides "chain" and "fine dining"

It would surprise me if all the local independent sub shops, pizza joints, tacqueries, falafel places, Chinese take-outs, etc. etc. accounted for only 11% of all meals out.

I'm also curious if "chain" means any place with more than one location (which would include places like Tenoch in Somerville and Medford).

Going back to topic, I like Panera and hope they don't next close the Porter Square location.

Lots of places have ONLY chains

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A friend from the mid-west was surprised at all the seasonal ice cream shacks that open around New England in the summer. Back home, all they had was Dairy Queen. In many places if you want pizza you get Dominoes or Pizza Hut; those are your only choices. We are blessed around here with plenty of local mom & pop options.

Part of the fun of travel

When traveling I/we always try to find local places to eat, usually the old-fashioned way by talking to some locals rather than relying on the internet or phone apps. A few years ago we were visiting my wife's relatives in LA and they offered to take us out to breakfast, I was pretty disappointed that they brought us to IHOP. I could've had some kick-ass huevos rancheros or chicken & waffles at a local joint but didn't want to be rude.

thank you

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I think that was kinda my point of the 88%.. We're lucky here in New England to still have non-chain decent local options still avaliable. I have friends who live elsewhere and talk about the good meals they have at Applebees, Golden Corral, and Longhorn. They really have no other option.. locally owned, non-chains are very hard to come by. We take for granted that we have it real good here in New England in terms of food.

Dairy Queen

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Do what's wrong w Dairy Queen? The soft serve is not full of air like some others, though it is full of chemicals and petroleum products.

Sure, it's OK

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DQ is sometimes just the right thing, but I prefer to have the option of choosing JP Licks or Toscannini's or something else if I want to.

DQ/Brazier

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In other areas are quite popular for more than just ice cream too.

Panera's healthy Image

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Not so sure about healthy, especially if you're watching calories, carbs, or fat. I almost freaked when I looked up the salad I felt so good about having for lunch and found out it was almost 700 calories without the dressing and 800 with it. An Italian on Ciabatta is 1000 cal., a Bread Bowl without the soup is 660 cal. Pumpkin Cookie, 460 cal., Sierra turkey Sandwich 730 cal. (27 grams fat), bowl of clam chowder 720, in a bread bowl 1140......... There are some healthier choices but not as many as you would think and not the items you would think.

https://www.panerabread.com/content/dam/panerabread/documents/nutrition/...

Bagelville

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Have you tried Bagelville? Its become our Weekend go to. You can get a half dozen for under $5. Bagels are way better than Dunkins and on par with Brueggers / Café Fresh orthe other high end bagel places around. Their sandwiches are also great and breakfast sandwiches are cooked fresh to order.

Yes, I did

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I'm probably just an old bagel snob from New York, but their bagels seemed to be small fluffy bread things, so I'll stick with Bruegger's, which are a bit closer to what I remember from the old country.

Go over to Chelsea and buy a

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Go over to Chelsea and buy a dozen or so, freeze them, and there you go, you can stay home for breakfast! Katz got to be close to your bowery type bagel, am I right?

Hmm ...

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True confession: I filed this post from Bruegger's. I sometimes have problems getting onto their WiFi to start with, but once I do get on, it seems to work. My problem there is with the brain-dead people who seem to use the parking lot for demolition-derby practice runs (my car still has the scratch marks along one side to prove it).

Other true confession: The reason I even know about the Union Street Panera downtown is because my old laptop just would not get on the WiFi at City Hall. Ever. And I know how important it is to get you all your licensing-board and City Council stories as fast as possible!

Fortunately, my new laptop seems to like Wicked Good WiFi just fine, so I can file from City Council hearing on my laptop, rather than trying to type something on my phone.

I think every car that parks

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I think every car that parks in that lot has scratches down their sides. That's what happens when parking spaces are 2 feet wide.

Off-topic

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Is Misono actually any good? I know Japanese restaurant names are only slightly less derivative than Chinese restaurant names, but there's a Misono on Rt 1 in the rough part of Peabody (near the Cabaret) and I'm guessing they're owned by the same guy?

I just assumed it was probably not a great place.

Japanese?

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There's a "Misono" in the Super 88 food court that is Korean, not Japanese.

Japanese

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They have been there for years and years. Looks clean. Never eaten there...not my thing.

Are you perhaps confusing it ...

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With the Finagle-a-Bagel on Spring Street (where Burger Fi is now) or maybe that Canadian coffee place that was open briefly next to where the Bruegger's is? Because I got a coffee and a salmon spread on a pumpernickel bagel at the VFW Parkway Bruegger's this morning.

The Panera in Arlington Heights

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closed a few years ago, because it "had never done the business ..." , or so they claimed.

Funny, it was always crowded, and nothing has replaced its niche in the Heights. The bagel place that's there now never caught on.

Lexington

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It was doing mad business before they opened the Lexington location, which is where most of the AH staff went. We moved out of Arlington just before that happened, but I'd wager most of the business dropped off when the Lexington store opened, and the plan all along was to kill off the AH store within 6-12 months. A shame really, it was a fantastic location, just needed more space.

That's insane

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They're like 15-20 minutes apart. If I still lived in Arlington, I'd never go to Fresh Pond, and if I lived around Alewife, I wouldn't consider driving/riding the 77/79 all that way instead...

Drive Thru Lifestyle

The Arlington one didn't have a drive through. The new one in Medford that opened this week does have one.

I suspect that was a big part of it. When I lived in the area, that store was always hopping.

This is also what happens when stores are measured by expectations of companies headquartered and run from the drive through lifestyle states. They don't get the whole foot traffic thing.

They Union Street location

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They Union Street location outside of Faneuil Hall shut down abruptly midday Monday as well

More on Boston-area Paneras

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I just added a link to the original post to a Nation's Restaurant Business report on the sale of Panera outlets in the Boston area to a franchisee. Seems the Boston area was not one of the company's better performing regions.

Buy 'em and close 'em?

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I admit it's my ignorance showing, but how does it make sense for this new franchisee to buy 29 Mass Paneras and then quickly close several of them down? Why buy the dogs in the first place?

Maybe they bought regional rights?

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So corporate sold them the shining stars, but to get them they had to buy the dogs. Now they can start opening new ones that might do better.

Just a theory.

Side note

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I can't view that link on my phone (or any link in an article). I can open articles and read the discussion, but anytime I tap on the screen to click something (or to drag the screen down further), the page jumps straight back to the top. If I want to scroll the article down, I have to keep my finger on the page so that the mouse-up event never fires.

I think it may have something to do with the Amazon ad.

Windows Phone 8.1

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Interestingly, I don't see the same ads in Edge or in Chrome on a desktop.

I know I'm a super-minority here with that phone but if you need/want me to help with any testing, lemme know. I'm out-of-pocket somewhat until next week but happy to help.

Bummer

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Their online ordering made it an easy place to pick up dinner on the way home. Not a ton of options for in-and-out pick up in that area that aren't greasy pizza.

Said lives-in-a-cave anon

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Not a ton of options for in-and-out pick up in that area that aren't greasy pizza.

Seriously?! There's got to be several dozen non-pizza places to get takeout in WRox.

Centre St takeout alone

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There's West on Centre, Banh Mi Ngon, the Red Eyed Pig, Los Amigos, Himalayan Bistro, Comellas, Phuket, The Real Deal, Sticky Rice Cafe, and probably a few more I forgot.

CRAZY !!

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its so SAD to hear this ii worked there for two years , and just left not too long ago because i moved to plymouth & got a job at the Hospital . i loved working here , loved my co workers . & i was a pretty damn good cashier ! if your reading this you probably remember me as the pregnant sweet girl ! RIP 175 spring street lol