A two-story Panera Bread restaurant will soon move into the former space of Bob Slate Stationer in Harvard Square. Photo by Brock Parker
Panera Bread is planning to open a two-story restaurant in Harvard Square by the end of the year at the former location of Bob Slate Stationer.
The 125-seat restaurant is expected to open in December at the former Bob Slate Stationer store at 1288 Massachusetts Ave., and additional seating will be located on the second floor in what is now vacant office space.
“It will be pretty cool,” said Gregg Godfrey the joint venture area director for Panera. “It will be looking over the libraries and the gates and Harvard.”
Harvard graduate Ron Shaich of Brookline is the executive director of the board for Panera Bread and has wanted a location in Harvard Square for some time,
Godfrey said Panera Bread had looked at eight to 10 locations in Harvard Square over the past three years before settling on the spot.
Bob Slate Stationer closed its doors in the spring after more than 75 years in the square, and Godfrey said the space initially appeared to be too small for Panera Bread until the company learned that there was also space above.
Unlike other Panera Bread restaurants in the area, Godfrey said the Harvard Square location will deliver food to patrons at their table instead of requiring them to pick up it up. Godfrey said some Panera Bread café’s on the West coast already offer the table service.
The restaurant chain recently opened another location in Porter Square and is planning to open a restaurant in Lexington Center this fall, as well.
Heavy foot traffic attracted the company to Harvard Square, and Godfrey said he's hoping construction on the restaurant will begin this month and will take about three months to complete.
“We are definitely excited,” Godfrey said. “We are so pleased to come to Harvard Square.”