Panera plans new restaurant in former Friendly’s in Beavercreek

A development company working on behalf of the Dayton-area franchisee for Panera Bread has obtained preliminary approval for its plans to open a new restaurant at the main crossroads of Beavercreek, in a space that has been vacant for nearly five years.

The former Friendly’s restaurant at North Fairfield Road and Dayton-Xenia Road shut down in November 2014 and has sat empty since then.

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Plans approved on a preliminary basis by the Beavercreek Planning Commission call for the demolition of the existing Friendly’s structure and building a new cafe that would have a drive-through window. The proposal now goes to the Beavercreek City Council, which must approve the project before demolition and construction can begin.

A spokeswoman for Panera’s Dayton-area franchisee did not respond directly to questions about the new Beavercreek location, but said, “We’re excited for the opportunity to begin serving the Dayton community with new locations. We look forward to sharing more details with our loyal customers in the near future.”

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Warren, Ohio-based Covelli Enterprises has been actively expanding Panera’s footprint throughout the Dayton area, including a recent proposal for a new location in an outlot at the Washington Park Plaza on Ohio 725 in Washington Twp. It is the largest franchisee of Panera Bread restaurants, with more than 315 locations in eight states.

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The franchisee announced in 2014 that it had purchased 11 Dayton- and Springfield-area Panera locations, and said at the time that it had aggressive growth plans for the Dayton market. In 2017, it opened new locations in both Englewood and Huber Heights.  It also opened a bakery facility in West Chester in 2015.

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Credit: Mark Fisher

Credit: Mark Fisher

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