One of Elmwood’s longstanding eyesores is finally being disassembled to make way for a new Panera Bread to open. Between the mega sign pole, the blank parking lot and the garish blue bubble awning, Blockbuster’s absence is a welcome change in scenery. In coming months, Panera Bread will be adding some landscaping to the street-side of the parking lot, removing the giant blue sign pole and will begin work on the interior of the building.
The exterior of the building already looks better than it did when Blockbuster was open. The window configuration looks like it will remain mostly the same, with added window visibility in the back along the parking lot. Individual awnings are to be placed above each window along with gooseneck lighting, and the signage goes up top, as shown, above the roofline.
– The windows on the Elmwood-facing side of the building do open to the sidewalk. They’re called Nanowalls, and people will be able to walk in and out of those windows into the cafe.
– There are plans for outdoor dining; this requires permit approval from the City.
Panera Bread is slated to open on Elmwood this coming July.
View from parking lot