Panera Bread proposes move to former TGI Fridays location

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WATERTOWN — Panera Bread plans to move a few hundred feet from its existing location to the former TGI Fridays restaurant.

The Missouri-based restaurant chain wants to update the former TGI Fridays location on Arsenal Street so it can have a drive-up window, COR Development representative Catherine K. Johnson said Monday.

COR Development, Syracuse, owns the sprawling Watertown Center retail complex on Route 3. Target is one of its anchors.

She and Andrew M. Hart, landscape architect with Bergmann Associates, made a presentation about the project to the planning board on Monday.

The building would have the familiar brown brick, green and beige color schemes that other Paneras are known for, Mr. Hart said.

“It’s going to have a new, nicer, brighter look and look nicer for the building,” she said.

But it’s the drive-up window that’s prompting the move, she said. Panera cannot develop that amenity in its present location in a storefront along a strip mall portion of the retail plaza, she said.

COR is working on doing the same thing for a Panera in Fayetteville Center in Syracuse, she said.

“Paneras are very popular,” Planning Board Co-chair Tom Boxberger said.

The drive-up window would be on the building’s north side. Two vehicle lanes within the site would accommodate the drive-up window.

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