The news Rapid City and Black Hills area residents have been waiting for months to hear is finally ready to be released. The new Panera Bread in the Rushmore Crossing Shopping Center is open for business.

There is still some exterior landscaping to be done, but the parking lot and drive-through lanes were full early Tuesday afternoon. Another Journal reporter who stopped there for lunch said business was indeed brisk, but that the wait wasn't that excessive, given the first day open and anticipation of the popular eatery's coming for months.

Nary a week went by when I didn't receive an email or phone call asking "When is Panera going to open?"

Now we know.   

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