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Feb 15, 2012 06:25 PM

Eastchester turns down Panera


On Tuesday the Zoning Board of Appeals rejected Panera's application to lease the former Blockbuster. The reason is it did not have waiter service even though Panera brings the food to the table. Is this the desire if the constituents?

  1. Is this for real? I was hoping that Panera would have opened up near Trader Joe's, but instead we got a T Mobile store. Panera would actually be a nice addition to the area, something quick that isn't "fast food" like a Burger King.

    So clearly it is not the desire of this constituent.

    2 Replies
    1. re: iluvcookies

      That is ridiculous. So instead we are stuck with an eyesore empty store, and will probably end up getting something really boring like another Verizon store.

      1. re: rgny

        Or another half-baked eatery that closes within a year.

    2. Why am I not schocked. I was hoping it would work out. Sucks. I like Panera alot.

      4 Replies
      1. re: paris1976

        Why not wish for a local bakery to open up instead of yet another chain? screw panera! or if it's going to be a chain with waiter service....on second thought there aren't any good chains with waiter service. Put in another 5 Guys!

        1. re: cubanat

          This is not the good o' Chowhound we used to know.

          1. re: pabboy

            ok forget about 5 Guys...throw in a shake shack please!!!

          2. re: cubanat

            The space is too large for a local bakery. And please, not a 5 Guys. Ick

        2. Given how many empty storefronts go begging, this is somewhat surprising. I happen to like that there are no fast food chains in the area other than on Central Ave, but god knows, there are plenty of chains. CVS, anyone? And there really needed to be a Walgreens next door to CVS and down the block from Value Drugs. There are few places in that stretch of 22 to get a bite, and although my first choice wouldn't be Panera, it would be an improvement over the empty eyesore of the former Blockbuster.

          3 Replies
            1. re: roxlet

              I agree - I don't get why the town would prefer an empty storefront.

              1. re: scarsdalesurprise

                I assume the Panera would have taken over both the empty Blockbuster and the empty Studio B, because the Blockbuster space alone is on the small side for a Panera. Before Studio B was in that space, it was a day old Wonder bread outlet. We also have lovely businesses like Mr Shower Door and Jenny Craig. A Panera would have been a vast improvement over a day old Wonder Bread outlet.

            2. Maybe Panera can find a nice empty storefront in Bronxville.

              1 Reply
              1. re: chowdom

                Yeah, that'd go over large in Bronxville. Anyway, the zoning in Bronxville is such that only an empty store that has previously had a food service business can be used for a restaurant or other type of outlet that serves food. I don't think that there are any of those available. Bronxville would be a gold mine for such a place, however, since all the schoolchildren go into town to buy lunch beginning in middle school. 600 kids wanting to be fed everyday. That's why there are no empty restaurant spots! Business is too good.

              2. Finally the town got it right. We have two nice bakeries within seconds of that property. We also have many delis and restaurants that would have suffered, especially during lunch. The last thing Eastchester needs is a food chain. Hopefully something will take over that benefits the community. Just in Eastchester alone we have 22 eateries counting crestwood, seven are Italian/Pizza, three chinese, four are sandwich/burger/pub grub the rest are deli/coffee and then there is Jackie's about something new, Panera would be more of the same

                7 Replies
                1. re: jhopp217

                  Not too many quick bites where you can sit to eat on that stretch of 22 though. Not that I'm advocating for Panera.

                  1. re: roxlet

                    Agreed - and honestly, what is in that area is not terribly appealing.

                  2. re: jhopp217

                    Ok I agree a food chain like Panera is maybe not the best idea, But I agree with Roxlet that theres not many places to get a quick bite and where you can sit on route 22. One place I do go once in awhile is the Bagel Place next to the new Fresh supermarket (where old navy was). So what would we like to see at the old Blockbuster? Does it have to be with food? Maybe a Greek place?? Not a diner though

                    1. re: paris1976

                      That's my question - what do people want to see? I know that people pine for a Vietnamese place or something along those lines, but my feeling is that unless it is FANTASTIC it would end up another empty storefront after less than a year. At least with Panera you know it will a thriving business and a decent option when in the area.

                      1. re: scarsdalesurprise

                        Eastchester/Tuckahoe are towns primarilly made up of middle class families with kids. When we moved to the area, there were lots of decent places that were oriented to families. They have all been disappearing, replaced with the likes of Fig and Olive, or Haiku, or the place in Tuckahoe that replaced Rockwells, overpriced fancy restaurants aimed at the singles crowd. We need places to take our kids that aren't McDonalds. We still have Pipers Kilt, but the wait to get in there is too long. Polpettinas is too expensive for me to take my kids.

                      2. re: paris1976

                        I don't think a Greek place would do well. There is already a Greek place in Chester Heights and although it's gotten rave reviews from friends, it's the kind of place people got to once in a while. It's also a tiny location and to my knowledge you don't need a reservation, so it's right for the size. A Vietnamese place wouldn't do well, because the town is filled with unadventurous eaters. Honestly, I'd love if they opened a BBQ type place....not like Q, but a true BBQ restaurant.

                        1. re: jhopp217

                          Ooohhh BBQ.....That;s def a place you can bring kids to. But BBQ resto's don't seem to really work i thought. The restauratn in Mount Kisco closed within 2 years.....