By Mary O’KEEFE
A new cafe has opened in the area and by the look of the lines, people are very happy about the new arrival.
Panera Bread opened on Tuesday in La Cañada at 990 Town Center Drive in the Flintridge Town Center.
Opening day was very busy and in fact at times had lines of folks out the door, all waiting patiently for their warm bread sandwich, fresh salad or healthy soup.
“Panera has hand crafted, freshly baked bread,” said Clay Sanger, joint venture partner, Panera Bread. “We are very excited about being here.”
As visitors walk in the door they are first met with the smell of freshly baked bread, then a display of breads, muffins and bagels takes over the senses.
“I think people like our [food] because it is fresh with fresh ingredients,” Sanger said.
The chicken used for sandwiches and soups has not been raised with antibiotics. (On Monday the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommended limiting the use of antibiotics on livestock.) In addition ingredients are organic and all natural.
“We are the first [restaurant] to post nutritional information in all of our cafes,” Sanger said.
Calorie and nutritional information is alongside the items on the menu, too.
“I think it’s great,” said Peter Taylor as he finished his sandwich. “I work at Sport Chalet corporate office. We really needed something like this close by.”
Taylor said he had visited Panera cafes in other areas of Los Angeles so he knew what to expect.
“I like the variety and that it is all healthy,” he said.
Michelle Wadler, who was also enjoying the fresh lunch offered at the cafe, said she loved the freshness of the ingredients.
“Look at this lettuce,” she said pointing to a crisp piece of lettuce on her sandwich. “It is also a nice place to sit and eat.”
The cafe offers to go food but also a comfortable and inviting atmosphere with chairs and tables, booths and overstuffed chairs to sit back with a cup of coffee or a smoothie. There is outdoor seating offered as well.
“This is perfect. You couldn’t have named a better institution to be brought in here,” Taylor added.
Panera is open Monday through Saturday from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m., Sunday from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.