By Colleen Murphy
Students and local residents can begin looking forward to eating soup from sourdough bread bowls and indulging in crispy paninis close to campus next year because Panera Bread is coming to Campus Town.
Campus Town announced on its Facebook page on Friday, Sept. 12, that the eatery was the newest addition to the $86 million project, and there was an overwhelming amount of positive feedback from students in the comments section of the post, as well as some jealous feelings from students who will graduate before Panera Bread opens up shop.
Junior communication studies major Theresa Soya said that Panera is her favorite chain restaurant and thinks it will be a great addition to the community.
“I know there are going to be a lot of great places to eat in Campus Town, but I think Panera is going to be constantly packed with students and faculty. I know I’ll be eating there at least once a week,” Soya said.
Panera will have its own 4,300-square-foot building on the north end of the complex — opposite of the Barnes & Noble — and will have a drive-through window, Greg Lentine, director of University Campus Development at PRC Group, told The Times of Trenton.
Soya won’t be living at Campus Town next year but says she will enjoy the newest addition to campus, regardless.
“I’m beyond excited for its opening,” Soya said. “It’s going to be beautiful. It’s going to add so much convenience. It’s going to advance the already incredible atmosphere of TCNJ as a campus community, and I am so excited to get the chance to be a part of it.”
According to Lentine, about 50 percent of the 83,000-square-foot available retail space has been leased out. Panera will join Piccolo’s Trattoria Italian restaurant, Red Berry frozen yogurt, Yummy sushi, Mexican Mariachi Grill and a Starbucks Coffee within the Barnes & Noble bookstore as eateries the community can enjoy.