COLUMBUS, Ohio (COLUMBUS BUSINESS FIRST)–A bakery-cafe chain has closed its only Columbus restaurant.

Corner Bakery Cafe at 1478 Gemini Place announced its closure in a Tuesday email to customers.

The company has not yet responded to questions about the call to shutter that restaurant. According to its email to customers, it has 155 other locations, though none of those are in Columbus or Ohio.

Corner Bakery Cafe opened its Polaris unit in 2017. That was a point where the brand was growing, rolling out a new prototype design and aspiring to open other cafes in the state. That expansion never transpired.

The fast-casual eatery was a competitor to Panera Bread with its menu of breakfast, lunch and dinner including sandwiches, salads, pasta, sweets, and pastries.

The chain was acquired in late 2020 by Pennsylvania-based Pandya Restaurant Growth Brands, which also owns Boston Market. Like many restaurants small or large, the Covid-19 pandemic dealt a blow to the chain’s sales, particularly for more urban locations that relied on office worker traffic, according to Restaurant Business.

The trade publication also noted that fellow bakery-cafe brands like Le Pain Quotidien and Pret A Manger (neither of which are in Columbus) have had similar struggles.

Panera Bread, in its central Ohio footprint, has been in a multi-year shift away from urban locations lacking drive-thrus to more suburban-style units. That included closing its South High Street restaurant last fall.

Corner Bakery Cafe has a long history. Started in 1991, it began as a bakery tucked into the corner of Maggiano’s Little Italy (hence the name) in Chicago, baking bread to serve that Italian restaurant. It was spun off into its own brand.

Prior to the Pandya sale, it was owned by Roark Capital Group, an Atlanta-based private equity firm whose restaurant portfolio brands include Arby’s, Auntie Anne’s, Cinnabon, Miller’s Ale House, and the Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s burger chains among others.

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