A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

Panera to open where others didn’t last

Written May 7th, 2019 by Hasso Hering

The exterior of Panera Bread, 320 Airport Road S.E., looked complete on Tuesday afternoon.

Somebody who evidently doesn’t get around much asked me the other day whether Panera Bread was or was not opening a restaurant in Albany. Well, they’ve been building the place for months, the signs have been up since last year, and the restraurant will open by the end of the month.

I took a ride out that way Tuesday and found the building finished. The parking lot has been newly paved, and the landscaping is complete as well. The time frame for the likely opening I got from an employee who answered the phone at Panera in Corvallis.

The Albany Panera was built on the site of the old Tom Tom Restaurant, which was quite a happening place decades ago but had been closed for years before it was demolished in December 2012.

Elsewhere in the neighborhood, around Airport Road and Interstate 5, a less momentous development in the food business is that the Taco Bell appears to be closed for construction, but when you take a closer look you see that the drive-through remains open:

Being close to the freeway off-ramp and near some motels, this should be a pretty good business location for places to eat. Sadly, it didn’t work out that way for what used to be called Yaquina Bay:

I don’t know what happened to the place, or why it closed and when. It sure looks as though it has been closed for quite a while.

The Albany Panera is across the street. Let’s wish the new operation good luck, and may it escape the headwinds that evidently doomed the Tom Tom and Yaquina Bay.  (hh)

9 responses to “Panera to open where others didn’t last”

  1. Roman says:

    Tom Tom and the yaquina Bay both doomed themselves. Nothing more, nothing less. That’s what happens when you dont keep up with the times.

  2. Sherry & Tom says:

    Thanks for the update…. we usually ” forget” that first part of Albany
    off I-5; but, will work to support Panera‼️

    Sherry & Tom

  3. RudyHashberger says:

    thank you, Hasso

  4. shawn says:

    Looking forward to Panera. Enjoyed both Tom Tom and T&R back in the day–was great for a middle of the night meal. Also enjoyed the seafood at Yaquina Bay and miss that. I seem to recall a suspicious fire at Yaquina, but my memory may be faulty.

  5. CHEZZ says:

    T&R was a great stop – good food and hard working waitresses. Also a great stop for our police officers. Miss that one! What a goofy thing to remember – the brown coffee cups at the Tom Tom. There was a lot of food being served at this intersection, and great to see it rising again!

  6. Cheryl P says:

    Sorry Hasso, but the Tom-Tom ‘lasted’ a very, very, very long time. Problem was, the building just got too old and needed major renovations. And then to claim that you don’t know why Yaquina Bay closed…took less than half a second to find out via Google.

  7. Rhea Graham says:

    The Yaquina Bay location wouldn’t be a bad first building for my ACKR Canna-it-ALL Healing Center. Big footprint with a commercial kitchen area… I could put several healing rooms in there!!


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