by Kase Wickman
Gut Check heard recently that St. Louis Bread Co. intends to open a new location on the north side of Plaza Frontenac, near Brio Tuscan Grille.
Hat tip to the lovely and charming Deb Peterson for the scoop. The real question, beyond the blah-blah details of square footage and whether they'll offer pedicures, is whether the Frontenac location will be designated as another of the Richmond Heights-based company's pay-what-you-wish locations.
What a fine measure of local folks' generosity that'd be! A payment-optional restaurant at the metro area's most uppity-scale shopping center! Can you imagine? Surely such a scenario would test, once and for all, Gut Check's mother's assertion that "Rockefeller didn't amass his millions by telling folks to 'keep the change.'"
Will the AmEx Black Card crowd warm to the concept of throwing down a fifty to cover a six-dollar Mediterranean Veggie sandwich and all the undiluted altruism forty-four bucks can buy?
To get the lowdown, we gave Panera Bread -- the Bread Co.'s real name everywhere except St. Louis, in case you've been asleep for twenty years -- a ringy-dingy.
And the answer?
Erin Shasserre, a local marketing manager for St. Louis Bread Co./Panera Bread LLC, quickly bursts our bubble.
"No, the Frontenac location will not be a 'St. Louis Bread Co. Cares' location," she tells Gut Check.
Shasserre imparts that the new Bread Co. will open sometime in the third quarter of 2011, and that the exact date hasn't yet been chosen. Meanwhile, the company does have plans to open two more pay-what-you-wish Bread Co. locations in the U.S. before the end of 2010, though Shasserre's not saying where.