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Corner Bakery Cafe to open 14 Tampa Bay locations

TAMPA — Corner Bakery Cafe, a fast-casual restaurant that sells pastries, breakfast items, sandwiches, soups and salads, plans to open 14 locations in the Tampa Bay area, starting with one in Brandon.

The Dallas chain has signed a franchise agreement with CB Restaurant Holdings, which already owns and operates four cafes in Miami. It also owns 36 Wendy's restaurants in South Florida and seven in Panama.

"We're looking for sites all over the Tampa area," Blake Bernet, senior vice president of development, said Wednesday. "The plan is to fill in the market."

The bakery was founded in Chicago in 1991 to make bread for the first Maggiano's Little Italy next door, and within a few years evolved into a cafe selling sandwiches, soups, paninis and desserts.

A cross between a Panera Bread and First Watch, Corner Bakery Cafe serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, but serves no alcohol. Customers order at a counter and food is delivered to their table.

Company officials have not specified the first Tampa Bay location but said it will occupy an end space of a shopping center near Westfield Brandon mall. Renovation work recently started and will finish in the next several months. The restaurant will take up 3,800 square feet and have 110 seats.

Corner Bakery Cafe has more than 150 company-owned and franchised locations in 14 states and Washington, D.C., and plans to double its footprint in the next three to four years, taking advantage of the big demand for restaurants selling quality food quickly and for less money than at a traditional sit-down restaurant.

Corner Bakery Cafe to open 14 Tampa Bay locations 09/04/13 [Last modified: Wednesday, September 4, 2013 8:53pm]
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