The Original Saint Louis Bread Company Is Closing

paneraoriginal.jpg

Saint Louis Bread Co., a national chain with more than 100 bakery-cafes in the St. Louis area alone, opened its first location in Kirkwood in 1987. Panera, as the company is commonly known outside the city, isn't going anywhere, but that original restaurant is. After almost 30 years, the Kirkwood's Bread Company is moving in to nicer digs.

See also: Panera to Eliminate Artificial Flavors and Ingredients by 2016

The Bread Co. is currently at 10312 Manchester Road, where it has been for the last 27 years. In August it'll move across the street to 10221 Manchester Road to accommodate a drive-through, among other things.

And although we think the introduction of the Bread Co. drive-through a few years ago was basically the best thing ever, we can't help but be a little sad that one of St. Louis' biggest exports is closing an important chapter in its history.

Regional vice president Don Hutcheson said in a statement that the move would "better serve" Kirkwood.

"We are honored and humbled to have felt the support of this community since 1987, and we are equally invested in this neighborhood," he said. "The new bakery-cafe will be directly across the street and will feature updated designs, a drive-through, expanded parking and seating, and rapid pick-up for the convenience of customers."

Do you remember when the first Saint Louis Bread Co. opened? Let us hear your stories! Here's Hutcheson's statement in full:

St. Louis Bread Company began with our first bakery-cafe in Kirkwood, MO. We are honored and humbled to have felt the support of this community since 1987, and we are equally invested in this neighborhood. In late August, we will be relocating our Kirkwood bakery-cafe to 10221 Manchester Road in order to better serve our neighbors. The new bakery-cafe will be directly across the street and will feature updated designs, a drive-thru, expanded parking and seating, and Rapid Pick-Up for the convenience of customers. We're excited to better serve our neighbors in Kirkwood.

Gut Check is always hungry for tips and feedback. E-mail the author at Nancy.Stiles@RiverfrontTimes.com.

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Location Info

Saint Louis Bread Co.-Kirkwood

10312 Manchester Road, Kirkwood, MO

Category: Restaurant


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16 comments
Ivana Savage Flynn
Ivana Savage Flynn

Your headline is very misleading. Be happy that they are moving on to better things and hoof your ass across the street.

Susan Wagstaff
Susan Wagstaff

I didn't know Kirkwood was the first, but it is the best. At times it is really busy, but as soon at customers leave those tables are cleaned. It is common for employees to offer drink refills or to take dirty dishes away. One day as she offered I saw the name tag said 'Manager.' I concluded that is why, despite the large crowd, that the noise level is so much lower, people 'busing' their own tables tend to throw their plates and silverware with a lot of noise.

Matt Rygelski
Matt Rygelski

How in the world are they so elitist to be ashamed of their St. Louis name and then still insist I bus my own table?

Harrison Elfrink
Harrison Elfrink

Hipster tears are my delight, I approve of this closure!

Meredith Gabbert
Meredith Gabbert

I hate that they call it Panera outside of STL. Why can't it be STL Bread Co. everywhere?

Riverfront Times
Riverfront Times

True, but this was the very first one! Call us sentimental.

Meredith Gabbert
Meredith Gabbert

Same situation with the Clayton Rd. location... Moving across the street.

Carrie Richter Gosiewski
Carrie Richter Gosiewski

The traffic is going is going to be a mess. I am not sure why putting a busy Bread Co. in a Schnucks parking lot is a good idea....?

Micah Brown
Micah Brown

Kerah Papablah, Jamie Kessler, Bella Burkholder, Victoria Pulfer, Bree Meyer, Jen Wagner

Aida Livingston
Aida Livingston

So what. It's not even called St. Louis Bread co. anymore. Now it's the biggest corporate nonsense around. Known as soup in a bag restaurant; made in a factory!!

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