Developing

Panera plans new restaurant in former Friendly’s in Beavercreek

Published: Monday, September 09, 2019 @ 11:08 AM

Restaurant that shut down 5 years ago would be torn down if project is approved.

A development company working on behalf of the Dayton-area franchisee for Panera Bread has obtained preliminary approval for its plans to open a new restaurant at the main crossroads of Beavercreek, in a space that has been vacant for nearly five years.

The former Friendly’s restaurant at North Fairfield Road and Dayton-Xenia Road shut down in November 2014 and has sat empty since then.

>> SPOTTED: Did we see you at the Beavercreek Popcorn Festival?

Content Continues Below

 Plans approved on a preliminary basis by the Beavercreek Planning Commission call for the demolition of the existing Friendly’s structure and building a new cafe that would have a drive-through window. The proposal now goes to the Beavercreek City Council, which must approve the project before demolition and construction can begin. 

An architectural rendering of what may soon be the newest Panera Bread in the Dayton area, at the site of a former Friendly's on North Fairfield Road and Dayton-Xenia Road in Beavercreek.

A spokeswoman for Panera’s Dayton-area franchisee did not respond directly to questions about the new Beavercreek location, but said, “We’re excited for the opportunity to begin serving the Dayton community with new locations. We look forward to sharing more details with our loyal customers in the near future.”

>> JUST IN: 20 months after shutting down, One Eyed Jacks is about to be reborn

Warren, Ohio-based Covelli Enterprises has been actively expanding Panera’s footprint throughout the Dayton area, including a recent proposal for a new location in an outlot at the Washington Park Plaza on Ohio 725 in Washington Twp. It is the largest franchisee of Panera Bread restaurants, with more than 315 locations in eight states.

>> Dayton Strong: Cupcake sales go to help mass shooting victims

The franchisee announced in 2014 that it had purchased 11 Dayton- and Springfield-area Panera locations, and said at the time that it had aggressive growth plans for the Dayton market. In 2017, it opened new locations in both Englewood and Huber Heights.  It also opened a bakery facility in West Chester in 2015.

>> TIM HORTONS CLOSINGS: At least 4 Dayton-area restaurants shut down abruptly

This Friendly's on North Fairfield Road and Dayton-Xenia Road in Beavercreek shut down in 2014 and has been vacant since then.(Mark Fisher)