MISSOULA — Panera Bread has opened its doors in Missoula after a lengthy wait and based on the long wait at the drive-thru, the town was ready.
It’s been two years since Panera Bread purchased the land which is located along Reserve Street in front of Target.
After several delays -- including the beginning of the COVID pandemic -- ground was broken shortly before the 4th of July.
Owner Casey Ryan says they made the decision to open the drive-thru and curbside pick-up only due to the high COVID-19 case count.
He says he’s already excited by the response he’s seen from the community on just the first day open.
Ryan noted that while they are best known for their bakery, they have a lot more than just bread to offer.
"It's a full-service restaurant, I mean it’s an emphasis on the bakery, but you know we have everything from sandwiches to soup, it’s a healthier alternative to some of the traditional fast-food players.”
Ryan doesn’t have a set date on when the dining room will be open but says he doesn’t believe it will be too long.
Panera Bread is open seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.