The secret’s finally out. Last week, Panera Bread posted a notice that it’s hiring, with plans to open an eatery in the former Blockbuster building at Third and F streets. Job postings on its website confirm this.
The flier for the bakery-café says its projected opening date is March 27. Interviews are being conducted Feb. 20-25, with training to start Feb. 27. For information, visit http://www.panerabread.com.
I’ve been trying to report this news since April, but the lease negotiations have been slow. None of those connected — landlord, broker, corporate — would go on the record.
The chain features sandwiches, paninis, soups, stews, salads, macaroni and cheese, breads, bagels and other pastries. There’s also steel-cut oatmeal and yogurt-granola parfaits. The website lets you build your own meals and see the nutrition calculations as you do.
Speaking of chains, Nation’s Giant Hamburgers is not coming back to Davis in the immediate future, but continues to explore the option, an official told me last week. The chain is growing in the region, with its most recent addition being in Citrus Heights in November.
Patrick Marasco, director of restaurant development for the El Cerrito-based chain, said, “we certainly have explored the opportunity, but there is no lease or development plan.”
He added, “We’re enthusiastic about Davis and the broader Sacramento area,” but said Nation’s hasn’t found a site here that meets its criteria, but “we continue to push forward.”
The restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, specializing in burgers and pies. It previously had an eatery in University Mall, which closed in the early 1990s.
The El Macero Shopping Center in South Davis is under new ownership. The change will bring some minor remodeling, said Kate Stille, director of marketing for Nugget Markets.
“At this point in time, the only plans that are in the works is giving the center a fresh look — fresh paint and cleaning up the landscape. Beyond that, nothing big is planned.”
Nugget Markets and other groceries in town will face even more competition when Whole Foods opens in the former Borders space in Davis Commons in the fall.
Luigis, at 213 E St., opened Jan. 22. Open for lunch and dinner, it features pizza by the pie or by the slice, meatball sandwiches, pasta, lasagna and salads.
All of the food, sauces and dressings are made from scratch from family recipes, owners Linda and Greg Brida said. (I sampled most of the items on the menu. Though I’m not a huge meat eater, my favorite was the meatball sandwich, just $4.95. Yum.)
Downstairs, there is additional seating, a stage and sound equipment for its all-ages music space and game room called the Fungarden. Its first live music debuted Saturday, Jan. 29.
Next door, also at 213 E St., Zindagi Indian Bistro opened Jan. 18, and is getting good reviews for its tasty food, nice atmosphere and great service. If you want to sample several items, there’s an $8 lunch promo during its soft opening.
A new Davis Flea Market debuted Sunday, Jan. 29, in the E Street Plaza in downtown Davis. Crowds of people supported the many craft, clothing and knickknack vendors while musicians performed. The event will continue on the last Sunday of every month, with the next one planned from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 26.
Weight Watchers will soon have a new home — in downtown Davis. Its main meeting space in Davis is currently at the portable building at Redwood Park, 1111 Anderson Road. Starting Tuesday, Feb. 14, members will meet at Odd Fellows Hall, 415 Second St. Meetings will be at 9:30 a.m., 12:15 and 5:30 p.m. Tuesdays; and 8 and 9:30 a.m. Saturdays.
There is a second meeting place in Davis, at 9 a.m. Wednesdays at Physical Edge, 1460 Drew Ave., Suite 200, in West Davis. Weigh-ins begin 30 minutes before all meeting times at all locations.
Spa Central, 333 F St., is remodeling the former Just KIDding space a block away, at 213 F St., with plans to move later this year. Owner Kelli Fuller doesn’t have a timeline for the change. I’ll keep you posted. The salon offers facials, waxing, threading, massages, body treatments and nail care.
Pho King IV will soon replace Orange Hut at 226 Third St. in Davis, near the university. There is a Pho King 2 on Stockton Boulevard in Sacramento. I spoke last week with Steve Than, whose family owns the restaurant. He said they are waiting for inspections, and have revised the projected opening date to sometime in mid-February.
The Sacramento location specializes in Bun Bo Hue, a spicy beef noodle soup.
Open Rice Kitchen, an Asian fusion restaurant going in at 204 G St. in Davis, may open in about three weeks, owner Calvin Liu said Tuesday.
Davis’ beloved toy store Alphabet Moon closed for good late last month. Alzada Knickerbocker, owner of The Avid Reader bookstore, has already announced plans to take over the space to add variety to her store’s selection, she told The Enterprise in a story published Jan. 26.
The bookstore is doing better than ever, especially since the demise of Borders last year. The current Avid Reader is at 617 Second St. and the new space will be at 605 Second St.
It previously had a second Davis store, The Avid Reader for Young Readers, on the E Street Plaza, from 1996 to 2006.
In case you missed the Enterprise story on Jan. 25, the City Council gave the preliminary nod on Jan. 24 to allow Davis Diamonds Gymnastics to move from 2795 Second St. to a vacant auto dealership at 5080 Chiles Road in South Davis. The action overturned an earlier ruling by the Planning Commission.
The city would also permit The MarkeTech Group, an international medical technology marketing consulting company, to move from 502 Mace Blvd., Suite 15. It would expand its operations to the adjacent spot at 5080 Chiles Road.
The council’s vote is preliminary until staff findings are presented at the next council meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 7, Tom Sakash’s story said.
The Old Sugar Mill in Clarksburg recently added an eatery called Baguettes.
On Dec. 17, owners of Elk Grove’s Boulevard Bistro, Bret and Debbie Bohlmann, began serving gourmet baguette sandwiches every weekend, to complement the wine from eight tasting rooms.
Baguettes is open in the gallery every weekend, but The Old Sugar Mill is open seven days a week. Individual tasting room hours vary.
— Wendy Weitzel is a Davis resident. Her column runs occasionally on Sundays, but her Comings & Goings blog at www.davisenterprise.com has more frequent updates. Comings & Goings is also on Facebook. If you know about a business coming or going in the area, contact Wendy at email@example.com.