vanessa-newVanessa Remmers covers Stafford County government and schools for and The Free Lance-Star.

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Panera on U.S. 17 to open Friday in Stafford County

Panera Bread will open its doors in southern Stafford on Friday morning.

A “bread cutting” ceremony will be held at 10 a.m. Aug. 30. The 4,100-square-foot cafe opens at 5:30 a.m.

The new location, at 24 South Gateway Drive, is at the entrance to the Target-anchored Carter’ Crossing shopping center, and is one of an increasing number of food offerings along U.S. 17.

The bakery-cafe will have a drive-through, WiFi, and a community table, according to a press release. Panera also offers catering.

Regular hours will be 5:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday to Saturday, and 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday. For more information, call 540/371-4100.

Panera will participate in the company’s Community Breadbox program. Cash donations from customers are matched by Panera and given to Feeding America and the Fredericksburg Area Food Bank. Unsold bread and baked goods are also given to local area hunger relief agencies.

A Wawa gas station and convenience store are also in the works for that intersection near the I-95 interchange. Read more about businesses along U.S. 17 here. The property was recently sold for $2.97 million. Panera also received incentives for its second Stafford location.

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