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Long lines greet Panera Bread as it opens for business in Duluth

The line was out the door at 6 p.m. Saturday, 12 hours after Panera Bread opened its Duluth location for the first time.

The national bakery-café chain opened west of Miller Hill Mall a little less than a year after plans were first announced. It's part of a newly developed mini-mall on the site of a former Ground Round restaurant.

"It's a busy place," general manager Scott Mabusth said early Saturday evening.

People already were waiting outside the doors when the restaurant opened at 6 a.m., he said. The first 100 customers were given Panera mugs.

Business slowed after that for a while, but soon the crowds returned "and it's been a line out the door ever since."

The restaurant at 2108 Maple Grove Road is open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Sunday.

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