Panera Bread, the uber-popular bakery and cafe quick casual restaurant, is targeting a later summer or early fall opening in downtown Bethesda, in the vacant space formerly of bd’s Mongolian Grill.
Jenny Hurley, marketing manager with the franchisee company of Panera Bread restaurants in Maryland, said Panera has been exploring a downtown Bethesda location for years.
“We feel like this provides ample parking, there is a lot over there,” Hurley said. “It will definitely be an attribute to the people who are working out there.”
The location, at 7201 Wisconsin Ave., is across the street from Parking Lot 24, a metered lot along Willow Lane.
Bethesda Magazine first reported that Panera would be taking over the space. The Minnesota-based bd’s Mongolian Grill closed last August. Panera had 1,652 locations as of December 2012 and there are locations in Friendship Heights, Upper NW D.C. and Rockville, but none with a Bethesda address.