Panera, Niles

Produced with-in 150 days from concept to construction, this unique, company-wide original drive-thru prototype fast casual dining facility was placed on a limited and challenging existing mall outparcel lot. This second-generation prototype included upgraded interior and exterior materials as well as a complete overhaul of the customer service equipment. This was the Franchisee’s first Panera Bread with drive-thru service.


Panera, Niles


The size and shape of the site was the most significant challenge. The site was locked between the heavily traveled main road, mall access entrance, and a stormwater culvert. Additionally, the site had a significant slope from the right of way at the road to the drainage channel. The project was also developed with very limited construction schedule.


To maximize the available developable area on the site, Phillips|Sekanick Architects raised the level of the site to match the existing access drive, thus requiring retaining walls at the drainage channel. Taking advantage of the width of the site, the drive-thru lane was designed to allow for future development of the adjacent parcel while maintaining 360-degree fire department access around the building. In an effort to keep to the tight construction schedule, Phillips | Sekanick Architects designed the façade with insulated panels behind the exterior finish, thus limiting the amount of work typically required on site.