Restaurant chain Au Bon Pain coming to Penn State

mdawson@centredaily.comJune 7, 2013 

International restaurant chain Au Bon Pain will set up shop on Penn State’s campus under a new agreement the university announced Friday.

Au Bon Pain will operate its main eatery from the location in the Kern Building where Otto’s Cafe was before the university closed it after the spring semester. In addition, Au Bon Pain will have two satellite cafes, one in the Information Sciences and Technology Building and the other in the Zoller Gallery.

All three campus locations will offer the restaurant’s full menu that includes made-to-order sandwiches, salads, soups, breads and pastries.

The university’s retail campus dining director, David Gingher, said Au Bon Pain will offer students food options that are “fresh and healthy.”

“We were impressed by what Au Bon Pain had to offer, particularly with its experience in a university setting,” Gingher said in a statement.

Before Friday’s announcement, Gingher had said the university was looking at a national brand to take the place of the Penn State-owned-and-operated Otto’s Cafe. The infrastructure at Otto’s Cafe, such as the heating and cooling, was in need of replacing, and trends have shown that college students want national chain restaurants, Gingher said.

In a statement released by the university, restaurant CEO Sue Morelli said she looks forward to serving the Penn State community.

Penn State said the eateries will undergo renovations this month with the hope of opening them by the end of August. The university’s meal plans will be accepted.

Chains are not new at Penn State. The university opened a Burger King in the Hetzel Union Building in January 2012. In addition, the HUB has Chick-fil-A, Starbucks, Sbarro and Panda Express.

Au Bon Pain has 318 restaurants worldwide, including ones on the campuses of Auburn University in Alabama, Yale University in Connecticut and the University of Maryland-Baltimore County.

Mike Dawson can be reached at 231-4616. Follow him on Twitter @MikeDawsonCDT.

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