LOCK HAVEN, Pa. — Residents of the central Pennsylvania town of Lock Haven are freaking the fuck out that a new Panera Bread location is opening just outside of town, amateur local journalists report.
“The rumors have been swirling for years, but oh my heavens, it’s finally happening!” exclaimed mother Deborah Wannstedt, reported terror on neighborhood app Nextdoor. “I confirmed the news by pestering a construction worker at the site. This is going to put Lock Haven on the map! Maybe my children will give up on their silly dreams and move back home from Chicago and Los Angeles since we have a new hip spot for them to do their little skits. I should call them right now, regardless of their work schedules and time zone differences, and if they don’t pick up I’ll text them 40 times about how they shouldn’t ignore their mother.”
Ever since the official Panera announcement, former residents of Lock Haven are looking at their hometown in a different light.
“I know it sounds ridiculous, but after four years of living in Brooklyn, I’m starting to miss Lock Haven,” said Janie Marzetti, a surrealistic short fiction writer living in Flatbush. “Yesterday, my friends wanted to try the hot new burger pop-up; apparently, so did the rest of Brooklyn. So we waited in line in the rain for two hours for a $24, very average burger that I ended up dropping half of on the ground. You just don’t have to deal with bullshit like that in Lock Haven. If you’re bored, you can just swing by the Sheetz. Oh, and you can buy a house for what I pay in rent each month. Fuck it, give me a soup and sandwich combo right now.”
A spokesperson for Panera Bread clarified the fast-casual chain’s newfound strategy.
“We’ve entirely given up on the ‘cool, urban’ markets; that just isn’t our- pardon the pun, bread-and-butter,” explained Lori Ruttiger, head of sales and growth for Panera Bread. “If you want to go pay $8 for a pour-over coffee then good for you, idiot. But if you’re a reasonable person who doesn’t want to spend an arm and leg for perfectly decent coffee, you are welcome here. Hell, I truly think our asiago bagels are better than whatever vegan bagel atrocity you’re going to order in Portland. So whenever you finally grow up and stop chasing overpriced ‘cool’, Panera will be here with open arms.”
As of press time, Lock Haven residents are preparing for heartbreak after newer rumors spread that the planned Panera is being canceled and replaced by the town’s sixth dialysis center.