TULSA - Sixteen months and two days after it was ripped apart by a tornado, a midtown Tulsa Panera Bread reopened Tuesday, and people were lined up outside well before the doors were unlocked at 6:00 in the morning.
“We had our first guest outside the door at 5:33 this morning,” Panera spokeswoman Erin Barnhart told KRMG. “When we opened the doors, there was already a handful of people ready to come in, and it’s been a pretty steady flow of people.”
In fact, the lunch hour found the place packed.
Customer Mattie Gilliland, a local artist, told KRMG he had just gotten his oil changed at another nearby business, and noticed Panera was open.
“The line was crazy,” he said. “It was like out the door when I got here.”
Panera is one of dozens of businesses damaged or destroyed by the August 2nd tornado in Tulsa, most of which have relocated or reopened.
Some are still in limbo, but the primary area of concern remains the 19-story Remington Tower, on the south side of I-44.
After three months, the engineering report that will determine the building’s fate is apparently still not complete.