Phoenix's First Panera Bread Opens Today

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Panera Bread, the bakery-cafe concept with more than 1,700 locations nationwide, will open its first Phoenix-area restaurant today. Phoenix first Panera Bread restaurant will be at 2845 North Central Avenue, on the southeast corner of Central and Thomas.

The company purchased a majority stake in the Scottsdale-based Paradise Bakery company in 2007, buying the rest of the Paradise brand two years later in 2009. Panera Bread already has three locations in the Tucson area.

See also: 10 Favorite Bakeries In Metro Phoenix

The fast-casual restaurant is known for its freshly baked bread and serves ingredients such as antibiotic-free chicken, whole grain bread, and some organic and all-natural ingredients. The menu includes a selection of bagels, breakfast items, sandwiches, pastas, salads, and paninis.

Last month, Chow Bella was told by a Paradise Bakery employee that all of Phoenix's Paradise Bakery locations would be changed over to Panera Bread restaurants, but Amanda Burns, Panera Breads public relations manager, said in an e-mail that the company will be "continuing to operate our 31 Phoenix-area Paradise locations."

The first 250 customers to register for the MyPanera® loyalty program at the new location will receive Panera Bread travel mugs while supplies last.

For more information, visit the Panera Bread website.

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