The parking lot on the left may soon be a restaurant with liquor sales, while the office building will soon be a Panera. (Photo from Google Maps)

The drive-thru proved to be the sticking point for the Garland Road Panera project, which has died on the vine.

“Councilman [Mark] Clayton is firm. He will not support Panera Bread or any other restaurant with a drive-thru window,” says Robert Reeves of  Robert Reeves & Associates, Inc. , the zoning consultant working with Oklahoma-based developer Onyx Holdings, LLC. “Panera Bread is not interested without a drive-thru window. My client considering other options.”

Clayton concurs that he was staunchly against the idea of a drive-thru at the site that currently houses medical office buildings (the owner bought two plots, 9323 and 9239 Garland, which flank Beachview). The newly reelected councilman says the idea was unpopular with neighbors and went against the best practices of the Garland Road Vision, a document created in 2010 to guide development in the neighborhood.

“I’ve always tried to use that to guide my decisions,” Clayton says of the Garland Road Vision.

He is confident there is a better option on the horizon. “We’re going to get something way better than a Panera,” he says.

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