McAlister's to open another deli at Northgate Mall at former Panera Bread location

Photo by Dave Flessner / Six months after the relocation of Panera Bread at Northgate Mall, the former restaurant site is being renovated to accommodate a new McAlister's deli which will open next spring.

McAlister's Deli is opening a third Chattanooga location at the site of the former Panera Bread at Northgate Mall, which relocated in April to another nearby site on Highway 153.

McAlister's, which operates delicatessens on Gunbarrel Road and on Signal Mountain Road among its 511 locations nationwide, is preparing to open a new deli at 620 Northgate Mall by spring.

The national chain, founded in 1989, is known for its handcrafted sandwiches, fresh salads, stuffed potatoes and its own brand of sweet tea.

Modus Build, a Chattanooga contractor, is renovating the former Panera Bread site for the new deli and is adding a drive-through window to allow McAlister's guests to pick up their food through orders on McAlister's app or website.

"This has been a fan favorite dining option, especially when customers are in a hurry," said Madison Stevens, a spokesperson for McAlisters's parent company, the Atlanta-based Focus Brands.

photo Staff photo by Dave Flessner / The 4,478-square-foot former Panera Bread restaurant, which closed in April to relocate to Highway 153, is being renovated by Modus Build to become a McAlister's deli. The new restaurant is adding a driver-through window and will open by next spring.

Southern Rock Restaurants LLC, one of the largest franchisees of McAlister's and which operates the other local McAlister's deli outlets, will own and operate the new restaurant at Northgate.

"It's a wonderful area, and the restaurants have been successful in this market, so continuing our growth here was certainly the right fit," Stevens said.

The 4,478-square-foot building at the Hixson Pike entrance to Northgate Mall was built in 2001, but Panera Bread relocated in April to its a site along Highway 153 at Northgate to gain more visibility and to add a drive-through window.

McAlister's has other units in the region in Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia, and Cleveland, Tennessee.

When it opens in the spring, the new McAlister's will be open every day from 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Contact Dave Flessner at dflessner@timesfreepress.com or at 423-757-6340.