On February 2, 2010 I wrote that Panera Bread was planning to open somewhere in Santa Barbara. On October 12, 2010 I updated the story and wrote that Panera plans to open somewhere near La Cumbre Plaza. I said that my best guess is that the location would be 3851 State St, the former home of Wachovia Bank. The Wachovia building is immediately next to Baja Fresh and is the first business you encounter when entering the plaza parking lot from State St. It is also highly visible from State St. which makes it an ideal spot for a restaurant with the added bonus of plentiful parking.

It appears that 3851 State Street is the correct address based on this information I recently saw posted on

  • Address: 3851 STATE ST
  • Case Number: MST2011-00014
  • Case Type: Master Application
  • Description: Proposal for exterior building alterations, a new trellis, and a new outdoor dining patio for Panera Bread. Two parking spaces are proposed to be eliminated.
  • Application Date: 1/10/2011
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  1. K says:

    Yes! I can’t wait!

  2. SL says:

    Yes! Another chain breaks into the SB market! Can wait!

  3. Becca says:

    I love Panera…can’t wait!

  4. Christine! says:

    I work for the best sandwich joint around- and I welcome Panera! The Santa Maria location is always busy, and theri soups are wonderful!

  5. N says:

    I e-mailed Panera back in Feb. of this year, and at the time, they told me that the SB location was still more than “six months out.” I’m really looking forward to it, but it seems it could be a while.

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