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This Adored Fast-Casual Chain May Start Selling Beer and Wine

Here's where you can test having a glass of wine with soup in a bread bowl.
Alcohol spritzers

Panera has an array of comfort foods on its menu: warm bagels, sweet pastries, soup in a bread bowl, and of course, mac and cheese (also available in a bread bowl). Now, five cafés around Kansas City are taking the meaning of comfort to the next level by testing beer and wine sales.

The test locations will offer alcoholic beverages from 4 p.m. to closing time for dine-in customers only, according to Nation's Restaurant News. They're part of Pan American Group, which is a subsidiary of the larger Flynn Restaurant Group.

The new menu options include a pale ale and an unfiltered wheat beer from Boulevard Brewing Co., plus a Chardonnay, a pinot grigio, and a red blend from Napa Valley's Menage a Trois Wines. If spiked seltzer is more style, you're in luck. There's also a strawberry lemon and basil flavor on the menu.

Related: 9 Restaurant Chains That Closed Hundreds of Locations This Summer

Randy Bates, head of marketing for Flynn Restaurant Group told NRN that the pilot program may expand to additional locations if the test proves successful.

One new item available at all Panera locations right now are flatbread pizzas. The chain added three options to its menu, which were created by  Pizza Hut alum Claes Petersson. The Cheese, Margherita, and Chipotle Chicken & Bacon flatbreads are only $7.99. Watch out for the calories, though—the later has a whopping 930 of them.

Lots of restaurants are expanding their menus or taking items off right now. To stay up to date on your favorite restaurant's offerings, sign up for our daily newsletter!

Amanda McDonald
Amanda is a staff writer for Eat This, Not That!. Read more