Monday, August 15, 2011

Panera signs now up in DCUSA, still opening in October

A few readers have noticed that there are signs up in the DCUSA space next to Panda Express that say Panera is coming soon. We heard in February that it was confirmed they were coming, and the target date is still October.

Any Panera fans out there? I like Potbelly better, but we shall see.

At first I was a bit worried about Panera coming, as I thought there were too many chains in DCUSA, but then I realized that's basically going to happen no matter what. As long as they are useful, as in they generate foot traffic and aren't dead spaces like a bank or something, and as long as the interesting local, independent spots keep coming to the rest of the neighborhood, I'm happy.

Along those lines I made a map of local and national businesses in the area, and it doesn't look too bad. Red are national chains, blue are local, independent places, and green is local chains (i.e. Z-Burger). Those with dots are food, those without aren't.

UPDATE: Per a question, this map is only things that have arrived recently or are arriving soon.


View Columbia Heights New Businesses in a larger map

15 comments:

Jon said...

Meh. Panera is one of those places I'll go if I'm out somewhere and hungry and there's no other option, but I'd be shocked if I ever walk in to one in DCUSA. Too many better options nearby.

But I agree, it's better than an empty store.

Anonymous said...

potbelly sux, panera 4 eva!

Kirby said...

I'm so excited about Panera coming! Where I used to live, it was my breakfast place of choice (to the point that the cashiers rang up my order before I'd even stepped up to them). It'll be great having a convenient one again.

Kirby said...

Also, their soups rock!

beatledud said...

I like both Potbelly and Panera, however Potbelly has been expanding so rapidly and their food just isn't quite as good as it once was.

Same goes for Panera, but it's still good. I'd say Panera has more variety in it's food than Potbelly, and depending on what you get leaves you feeling less greasy and gross than Potbelly.

Also Andrew, your map doesn't make much sense. You have some pins that just say "national food retailer". You also are going to include Lou's and Commonwealth (which has changed) but not any of the other bars like Red Derby or Getaway or Wonderland? You're going to include IHOP but not Panda Express? You're going to include Modell's, but not Target or Best Buy, or Radio Shack. Perhaps your map is linked to blog posts? I don't know, but until you create a more complete picture of local and chain stores, restaurants, and bars I don't think your current map gives an accurate representation of what exists there now.

Greta said...

I'm with you on disliking chains going in, rather than independent places, but if it's gotta be a chain, then at least Panera gives us another healthy option. Aside from Potbelly's, we have Chipotle, Five Guys, Panda Express, Dominos, Dunkin Donuts....I'm glad I'll have a healthy option for getting a quick bite to eat.

Andrew NCH said...

Beatledud, yeah, that was from the last post that I linked to, which was about recently opened and coming places. The post was written in May which was before the Getaway was open. I'll add it.

A realtor said they've had interest for "national food vendors" in those spaces noted as such.

Vince said...

I'm excited. Personally, I like how Panera tastes, and I'll eat just about anything on their menu, but I haven't lived near one in like 10 years. There was also this article (http://www.health.com/health/article/0,,20411588,00.html) from 2009 where Health Magazine said they were the healthiest large fast food chain in the country. Now, I have no idea if Health Magazine is a legit publication or not -- it's just the thing I read when I'm waiting at the doctor's -- but I'm inclined to believe it.

Anonymous said...

I hate to tell you that Panera is just as healthy as Chipotle- so not at all. Salt and fat galore!

beatledud said...

Andrew, gotcha, that map makes more sense now.

Williams said...

French Onion Soup! Sooo excited.

Greta said...

@Anonymous- Of course there are unhealthy options on Panera's menu as well, but overall, they have many more healthy options than Chipotle. I've spent many a time asking for their nutrition info binder (ok, slightly OCD) they have in the store, checking out the nutrition info before I order. Not that being a long-distance runner & health junkie makes me more knowledgeable, but I have checked it out more extensively than people who think "oh, I'm ordering a salad, it must be healthy." :P

WestEgg said...

The post says Panera is going in next to Panda Express, but the map has it on 14th?

Andrew NCH said...

Thanks, I'll fix

UglyRedPeacoats said...

Hell yea, corporatized "bread" just what that yuppie death star DCUSA needed...MORE FAST CASUAL PLEASE MORE WE NEED MORE

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