Is a Panera Bread in El Paso about to become a reality? Yes, yes, a thousand times yes!

Every El Pasoan has a list of restaurants and businesses they would love to see open a location here. Panera Bread is right up there with an H-E-B, Cheesecake Factory, Trader Joe’s, IKEA and In-N-Out.

We’re still holding out hope for the others, but the bakery-cafe chain revered for its soups, salads, and sandwiches is the next big-name franchise to call one of our growing numbers of strip malls home.

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Is This Just a Rumor or Is It a Joke?

Panera Bread
Panera Bread

I know what you’re thinking; really, we’re getting a Panera? For real? For real.

According to River Oaks Properties, owner and operator of many retail properties in the city including West Towne, El Paso's first Panera Bread is expected to open by the end of the year.

For those shaking their heads and softly saying to themselves, “The west side gets everything,” don’t give up hope.

I looked into franchise requirements in 2019 when I first started hearing rumors, and learned that the company requires franchisees to open multiple locations.

So don’t be surprised to see future locations in fast-growing parts of El Paso County, such as the Far East side and Eastlake.

There are currently 113 Panera locations in Texas and 4 in West Texas. One in Midland and Abilene, and 2 in Lubbock.

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