A new Panera Bread in the Elmwood Village won approval from the Common Council today.
Delaware Council Member Michael LoCurto said he was confident Elmwood patrons would continue to support local businesses and noted that Panera, a national chain, will replace Blockbuster, another national tenant.
There was some opposition to the restaurant moving onto Elmwood during earlier meetings from interested parties and neighbors, LoCurto acknowledged.
"At the end of the day, it's hard to tell a restaurant that the role of government is to tell which restaurants can't compete and which can compete," he said.
Panera representatives last week said that the restaurant would apply for a variance from the Zoning Board of Appeals if they did not get approval from the Council.
As of this afternoon, no application had been made.
There is some question as to whether a variance, which had to do with the size of the building, was necessary, because the restaurant is moving into an existing structure.