souper-paneraIt wasn’t that long ago that word came down from the Goss Avenue Antique Mall owner, Denise Golden, that her shop would be closing.

“It was a sad day, but a necessary one” says Golden. “The economy tanked and we never bounced back.” Denise recalls over the last year she’s been approached by condo developers and shopping mall owners, but everyone’s flaked out. “I looked at my husband and just threw my hands up in the air saying “I give up Hank!” Denise started getting calls from a very enthusiastic man claiming to be the owner of Panera Bread. “I thought he was joking at first” Golden recalls, “He said he wanted to open up a new experimental Panera Bread called Souper Panera. He was calling me several times a day, I finally just said what the heck.” Golden met with Panera Bread owner Dale Smyth a few weeks later and the keys were handed over. “This place is gonna be stinkin awesome.” says Smyth. “We’ve got 30,000 square feet that we’re installing 400 brick ovens. We’ll be making around 40,000 loaves of bread a day. I tell my wife we’re gonna make it “grain” in Germantown.” I watched Smyth run around with his clipboard of sketches making rainbows with his arms explaining his ideas to the construction company. “You know our bowls? Our bread bowls we put soup in? Well, we’re sectioning off 10,000 square feet in here that will be dedicated to our Party Bowls.” Smyth showed me his sketches of bread bowls that are the size of your typical hot tub. “Essentially you get in the Party Bowl with 3-4 of your friends and we fill it up with whatever soup you want. Then you guys just relax and begin to eat your way out. It’s gonna be stinkin sweet.” The bread bowl is set to have a price tag of $399, which Smyth says its a steal as it takes 200 lbs of flour to make one hot tub size bread bowl. Sandy and I have been eating at Panera for years and actually enjoy most of their food. But we’re both a little concerned that Germantown isn’t the right test market for a 30,000 square foot Super Panera. “We’re pretty hopeful. I know if a Souper Panera rolled into my town when I was a kid I would be hella pumped. It’s been a dream of mine since I was a boy to sit in a bread bowl with my friends while we eat our way out. I think I was inspired a lot by James And The Giant Peach. God this things gonna be so stinkin sweet.” Mayor Greg Fischer says he’ll join Steve Beshear, John Yarmuth and Mitch McConnell in a Party Bowl for the grand opening set for later this year. Frank Thompson Germantown Times July 2014


  1. richard cranium says:

    Has to be one of the dumbest things ive ever read.


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