Panera Bread is open, and its customers are responding.
“It’s wonderful,” said Sharon Denapoli, who visited the new Kingsley restaurant with her husband Bob on Monday morning.
“It’s five minutes from our house. Five minutes.”
The Denapolis like the staff at the Ballantyne location just over the border in North Carolina, but can’t beat the convenience of the Fort Mill Panera that opened April 26. Panera joins another recent Kingsley opening as the start of a destination site for the family.
“With Carolina Ale House and here,” Sharon Denapoli said, “we’re good.”
While Kingsley made headlines with megatenants LPL Financial and The Lash Group, the development near S.C. 160 and I-77 is a growing food scene. Current or announced businesses include Carolina Ale House and Panera, along with Brixx Wood Fired Pizza, Clean Juice, The Corkscrew, Smashburger, Starbucks and Stewart Penick’s Terrace.
All welcomed, Bob Denapoli said, and needed.
“Fort Mill needs more restaurants,” he said.
Cathleen Simpkins caught up with a former coworker at Panera on Monday morning. Just minutes from where they worked together. It won’t be her last time visiting.
“It’s such a great place to meet and its got plenty of space,” Simpkins said. “Panera has always been one of my favorites, so I was so excited it came here.”
The new store has the typical Panera offerings, along with a large screened-in patio with seating for 50. It has tables with a view of the baking area, free WiFi and ordering options from online to tableside to an app. The restaurant also has a drive-thru. It’s open at 1309 Broadcloth St. from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.
For more, call 803-228-6045 or visit panerabread.com.