Tri-Village News

Mitchell: 'Cozy' steakhouse will replace Panera

Sandwich shop plans move to Yard, clearing the way for restaurateur's first foray into Grandview Heights

By ThisWeek Community News  • 

Cameron Mitchell will bring a meaty addition to Grandview Avenue next year.

Panera Bread announced last week it would pull up its stakes to relocate to Grandview Yard. The well-known restaurateur will open a new steakhouse in its place.

Panera will move from 1307 Grandview Ave. to a stand-alone building on Third Avenue in front of the new Giant Eagle store currently under construction.

"The biggest reason for our move is that we will be able to feature a drive-through at our new location," said Liz Fiorino, regional marketing director for Panera Bread Columbus. "Also, the parking situation will be much more appealing at the Grandview Yard site.

"We believe we will be better able to serve our Grandview-area customers in the new location, especially by providing a convenient drive-through," she said.

The new building will be about 3,900 square feet -- around 1,000 square feet smaller than the current location, Fiorino said.

"We plan to open in our new location late this year and the Grandview Avenue store will remain until that time," she said.

Panera opened its Grandview Avenue store in 2002.

"It's been a great location for us, but we are excited about moving to the Grandview Yard development," Fiorino said.

For Mitchell, the chance to open a restaurant on Grandview Avenue "is a great opportunity for us. It's working out nice (for Panera) and for us.

"I've been wanting to be in Grandview for a long time," Mitchell said. "I live in south Arlington and have spent a lot of time in Grandview. It's such a charming community."

Grandview's proximity to downtown, Ohio State University, Upper Arlington and the Short North makes it an ideal location for the steakhouse, he said.

"We're bringing something to the area that's not there now," Mitchell said.

The Grandview Avenue restaurant is expected to open in late 2015, he said.

Mitchell is returning to the steakhouse business with the Grandview restaurant and the Barn at Rocky Fork Creek, a steakhouse that will open later this year in Gahanna. He sold his Mitchell's Steakhouse and Cameron's Steakhouse restaurants in 2008.

"Americans still love their steak and they always will," Mitchell said.

While an improving economy is making steak restaurants more viable, the previous sale included a five-year noncompete provision, he said.

"The timing of this opportunity in Grandview couldn't have been better," Mitchell said. "If the Panera location had been available two or three years ago, we couldn't have made it happen."

The Grandview Avenue restaurant "will be a nice neighborhood steakhouse," he said. "It will be cozy."

While Panera was looking to open a drive-through and have improved parking, "the valet parking on Grandview Avenue will be perfect for our steakhouse," Mitchell said.

Mitchell will not take ownership of the building until late this year, after Panera moves to its new location.

"At best, we won't be able to open until the fall football season 2015," he said.

A $1.6 million makeover will be given to the 4,800-square-foot building, including the addition of a small patio area for outdoor dining, Mitchell said.

"You won't be able to recognize that it was ever a Panera Bread after the renovations are done," he said.

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