Panera Bread

Located at 4525 Ambassador Caffery Parkway in the Ambassador Town Center near Costco, the Panera Bread store will be closing Aug. 2.

Panera Bread will close its 4525 Ambassador Caffery Parkway location in the Ambassador Town Center near Costco on Aug. 2.

Although the traffic count for the area was what attracted them to the location, dealing with Ambassador Caffery Parkway's traffic and the difficulty of turning left from Ambassador Caffery into the shopping center has hindered that location's sales, according to a co-owner.

"I sat through light after light myself when I tried to get there," said Tom Krings, co-owner of CSC Investments, the Tennessee-based company that is the local Panera Bread franchisee.

"It took me 15 minutes to get half a mile down Ambassador, and it was difficult to turn left. Ultimately, the sales did not materialize to support that cafe, and we hope our customers will be able to join us at our Johnston Street location."

The restaurant was one of the first businesses to move into the 425,000-square-feet shopping center anchored by Dick's Sporting Goods and Costco in 2016.

When Ambassador Town Center was built, local government granted $11.5 million in property tax breaks to the developers to fund building Lake Farm Road behind the development, which was expected to help alleviate congestion on Ambassador Caffery and Kaliste Saloom Road.

Panera, which operates the other Lafayette location at 2622 Johnston St., said it will move some employees to that location and has helped others to find new jobs.

"We're trying to help our employees where we can," Krings said. 

The closure follows last week's closure of Cheddar's Scratch Kitchen near the Acadiana Mall. 

Acadiana Business Today: Panera Bread to close location in Ambassador Town Center; General Office Supply and Acadiana Office Supply merging, company to vacate office in downtown Lafayette

Email Dan Boudreaux at dboudreaux@theadvocate.com.