Panera Bread and Starbucks are both opening new Columbia locations, giving fans of coffee and baked goods some new stomping grounds.
The new Panera location is a simple move across the street: The current store on South Providence Road will be replaced with a cafe on East Nifong Boulevard. This will be Panera's first stand-alone cafe in Columbia, meaning that it will not be attached to any other businesses.
The store will be in the southeast corner of the Nifong Shopping Center. Panera has declined to comment on the exact dates and details of the move. However, the shopping center's owner, Lindner Properties, said it expects an opening sometime in May.
The new Starbucks location, which was built near the intersection of Range Line Street and Vandiver Drive, opened Monday. The store was constructed just south of Waffle House, replacing the Budget Host Inn. This was the 10th Starbucks built in Columbia and the first north of I-70.
Because of the store's drive-thru and proximity to the highway, it is expected to attract a great deal of traffic. The Columbia Board of Adjustment rejected Starbucks' request in July of 2020 to expand its parking for this location, allowing it 22 spaces instead of its national standard of 25, according to previous Missourian reporting.