WICHITA — It was back in January that Have You Heard? first reported that Panera Bread franchisee Randy Simon was in negotiations to open a Panera in front of the Dillons Marketplace at Derby Marketplace at 71st and Rock Road.
The Derby City Council approved the deal last week, and construction is set to begin.
Simon plans a fall opening for the restaurant, which will have a drive-through. This is the 32nd cafe for his Original Bread and the first to feature a drive-through.
Later this month, Simon says he plans to finalize a deal in Sedalia, Mo., for another Panera with a drive-through. That's also where a Freddy's Frozen Custard & Steakburgers franchisee plans a Freddy's next door.
The Panera that opened earlier this year on Ridge Road next to the Freddy's that Simon co-owns had the highest volume opening of all of Simon's Wichita Paneras.
Back in Derby, there are a couple of other new restaurants that will open near the new Panera.