Southern Brooklyn

Brooklyn’s First Panera Bread To Open In Kings Plaza

This photograph of a Panera Bread's interior is here to remind you that your living room sucks.

When most people think of Panera Bread – the “upscale” chain coffee-house and bakery – they think of strip malls in wealthy suburbs, or nice, flashy downtown locations. Or maybe a quiet corner spot in some quaint town somewhere.

I really doubt, though, that they think Kings Plaza. I mean, isn’t that where class goes to die? And then have its corpse rolled around in feces? And then disposed of with an unceremonious kick into the questionable waters of Mill Basin?

Maybe that’s a little harsh; a memory of the Kings Plaza of yesteryear, before all the renovations and the increase in coveted retailers like H&M, Armani Exchange and, um, Quizno’s. Now the place is all ritzed up. It’s ready for some spotlight. It’s ready for some class.

It’s ready, at long last, for a Panera Bread.

Brooklyn’s first Panera Bread is slated to open on Monday, October 31, in Kings Plaza at the mall’s Flatbush Avenue entrance near Best Buy. The bakery-cafe will be open for breakfast, lunch and dinner from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Sunday. The location will offer free wi-fi, and boasts about its “healthy” eating options, including no trans fats, antibiotic-free chicken and organic kids choices. With no Panera options in Brooklyn, fans of the chain’s paninis, pastries and breads would have to travel to Queens (blegh!), Long Island (blarghh!) or, ugh, Staten Island (blarlegghh!), so this is certainly good news for them.

But wait, there’s more! To celebrate its Halloween Day grand opening, Panera Bread is baking hundreds of pumpkin-shaped shortbread cookies and from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. children age 12 and under can stop by to decorate and eat their own special treat while supplies last.

And though I may have written this all full of snark – and a dose of contempt for Kings Plaza – I will say there is one great thing about this news. Panera Bread is looking to hire 120 employees for the Kings Plaza location, in an area where jobs continue to be in short supply. So, sarcasm aside, kudos to Panera for putting people back to work in a hard economy.

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  1. For different shifts, management, cleaning, cashiers, stock, etc. At any given moment you have at least ten – fifteen employees on hand.

  2. 120 employees at Kings Plaza…. I do not envy the manager of this place.  Also who is going to go there at 7am?  Most stores don’t open until at-least 9am. 

    With that being said, if Kings Plaza is getting Panera Bread, perhaps Sheepshead bay is ready for Nobu Sushi.  Can you imagine, our fine Russian brethren walking into Nobu Sushi Sheepshead Bay and asking where the half price rolls are at, then taking our their own bottle of wine.

  3. this is my best bet. so the fact they are hiring 120 people is probably worse. this means 120 part time slaves who get paid minimum wage and get no benefits. they are doing more of a disservice than helping. i can not wait for the american fascist system to fall apart completely and we kill the elites ruining our once great country.

  4. True, they will be shitty minimum wage jobs.  However most people who work at mom and pop food service establishments get minimum wage as well and virtually no prospect for growth.  Here at least if you show some competence you can move to shift manager or even to corporate at some point.

  5. Can’t wait for this to open the best thing that happened to Kings Plaza since it opened in 1969.  They are coming a long way. Most important there are some jobs availible.

  6. Upscale generally means overpriced products. Welcome Panera, and good luck, but not exactly what that mall needs–except for the jobs.

  7. Does anyone know what the rents are like in Kings Plaza?  I was entertaining the idea of having a Dunken Donuts there, seem like the right type of market for it.

  8. I am born & raised in Brooklyn & haung out at the Mall back in the 80’s/early 90’s. Remember Bun N’ Burger or Wicks N Sticks? That was when this mall was actually a place you wanted to go shop & there were options. Kings Plaza really is not my first choice. I am willing to sit in traffic to go to Roosevelt Field or pay $13.00 to go the The Staten Island Mall. Now that Kings Plaza has brought in Best Buy, and Things Remembered is coming soon & now Panera, to me its a sign that there are a lot of neighborhood people like me who quite frankly don’t go there often & they want to have what other mall’s have. I mean there is no Disney Store or Build a Bear for kids no Justice clothing store for girls, they took away Limited, Limited Too & Lane Bryant only to put stores that in my opinion are useless. The Gap needs an overhaul & all of these little noname shoes stores & toy stores are a waste. I am hoping this is a change in the right direction and I can once again shop there and be happy about it.

  9. Wicks and Sticks was my favorite store – Bun n Burger was my sisters favorite.  I hated Kings Plaza fror a very long time.  It has changed to a better class of stores, and I kind of like it now.  I like Sears for clothes and appliances.  I may even go this weekend.

  10. You would be surprised at who would show up at 7am.  Alot of people will most likely be there – remember, something is better than nothing.  A minimum wage job is still a job. You gotta do what you gotta do to feed the family and pay the bills.  I have, in the past worked in minimum wage jobs between full time jobs.  It’s nothing to be ashamed of. 

  11. I was kind of impressed with the new Panera Bread store and frankly may come back again. Yes, it can be somewhat pricey but so are places like Dunkin Donuts, Starbucks and a host of others. Besides, I like the location in that the store is located without going into the mall. I’ll be back again. Way to go.

  12. Despite the new Panera Bread store being a bit pricey, you can say that ten times more when you shop Victoria’s Secret, Fredericks of Hollywood, Charlette Rouse of a host of other stores. Welcome to the 42nd St of Brooklyn.

  13. Finally, a new place to hang out in the morning while people shop like crazy this Black Friday. If you ask me, I will be having my coffee and bagel for breakfast at Panera Bread and let all the idiots shop til they drop at Kings Plaza Mall. Enjoy.


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