Panera Bread expects to open its Huntington village restaurant this spring.
The newest Panera site is undergoing renovations at 354 W. Main St., in the space formerly housing Noma and Guido’s restaurants. A Massa pizzeria shop is also preparing to open right next door. Both are accessible from the Clinton Avenue-Gerard Street municipal parking lot.
With its town permits in place, the company said this will be the 23rd Long Island site operate by Doherty Enterprises, Inc., franchisee for the Long Island Panera Bread.
"We consider this an ideal spot for Panera,” said Greg George, vice president of operations for the Long Island bakery-cafes. “It’s located right near the heart of the village, has great visibility and active foot traffic through town. In addition, this location will have a Community Room that can be reserved for free by clubs, organizations and not-for-profit groups looking for a gathering place.”
The restaurant will also offer free wi-fi service.
"We strongly believe in supporting the communities we operate in,” George said. Panera Bread makes daily donations of breads and pastries to Island Harvest, runs its annual Pink Ribbon Bagel campaign to help fund Long Island breast cancer charities, and provides donations of food to local fundraising events.
The chain said it expects to hire about 50-60 employees and will begin hiring about five weeks before the opening.
Panera opened a location in Syosset in July.