After a number of delays, construction of a new Panera Bread in Wilkes-Barre Twp. Commons has resumed more than two years after a tornado destroyed the popular restaurant.

Sordoni Construction was back on the site Thursday setting up to build a stand-alone building with a drive-thru in Panera Bread’s former location.

Wilkes-Barre Twp. Zoning Officer Tom Zedolik said Sordoni Construction received a permit earlier this year but the work was delayed when Gov. Tom Wolf ordered the construction industry shut down as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

“We’re glad to see it come back,” Zedolik said. “It draws a lot of people to that area.”

Urban Edge Properties, which has locations in New Jersey and New York, owns the Wilkes-Barre Twp. Commons.

DAVE SCHERBENCO / ACCESS NEPA
A Wilkes Barre Twp. police officer patrols in front of Panera bread one of several businesses in the area of the Wilkes Barre Twp. Commons after high winds ripped thru the area damaging several buildings and injuring six people on June 14, 2018 in Wilkes Barre Twp.

 

The entire strip mall was demolished after the tornado ripped through Wilkes-Barre Twp. on June 13, 2018, and damaged buildings beyond repair. Panera Bread will mark the first business to return.

Zedolik said a smaller strip mall is planned for the site but there is no word yet on when any more construction will start.