Panera Bread unsure when location near Missouri State University will reopen after SUV crashed through it

Published: Apr. 28, 2023 at 3:56 PM CDT|Updated: Apr. 28, 2023 at 4:24 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - The Panera Bread restaurant at National and Elm in Springfield is closed after an SUV plowed into its dining room on April 27.

Jennifer Arnold, a Panera Bread spokesperson, said they don’t know when the restaurant will reopen.

“Business as usual, yesterday, Thursday, April 27. A car hit our building, and came in through the front door,” said Arnold.

An SUV came barreling into the restaurant, it ended up entirely inside the building. Arnold said no one was severely hurt.

”We are thankful that nobody was seriously injured,” said Arnold. “We are hoping to reopen as soon as we can when it’s safe for our employees and guests.”

Springfield Police said the SUV was traveling south on National and tried to turn on Elm when it hit the building.

Two people inside the restaurant were taken to the hospital with minor injuries. The driver and employees were not hurt. Arnold said they never expect this.

”This is definitely very unusual, not something that we would expect,” said Arnold. “But we are thankful that nobody was seriously injured.”

Investigators say they don’t suspect the driver was impaired.

Arnold said Panera has been at this location for 28 years and for being one of the first locations in the area, Arnold wants to be back for the customers.

”We have been there for a really long time, and we enjoy our presence there and all of our guests,” said Arnold. “We are looking to open up as soon as we can, that it is safe and the structure is sound.”

Panera did not say what the employees will do while repairs are being made. Springfield police said this is still under investigation.

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