While Boston University students have been mourning the loss of the west campus classic, Life Alive has begun their preparations to take over the space at 888 Commonwealth Avenue.

Panera Closed?

Panera’s closure came as a shock to many BU students as the location seemed to be constantly bustling with students studying and dining together. According to BU’s Daily Free Press the location closed for financial reasons, unable to continue to cover the high rent.

On May 21st, the location officially shut down, right after a few big changes were made in the company. In February, Panera acquired fifty percent ownership of Tatte Bakery & Cafe. And in April, the investment firm that controls Krispy Kreme, and coffee companies Keurig, Peet's and Caribou, bought Panera turning it into a privately owned company. Thankfully, Panera as a brand is still alive and well with more than 2,000 locations.  

Life Alive: What to Expect

The Fenway Panera is now the closest one to BU, and is definitely a trek, especially for those students residing in BU’s west campus. So what can students and Boston residents expect from Life Alive? Well, the Urban Oasis and Organic Cafe has three Massachusetts locations in Cambridge, Lowell, and Salem and plans to open their doors on Commonwealth Avenue in January 2018. The quick service spot has a unique menu offering smoothies, juices, lattes, salads, and wraps.

Rachel Hartman

They also offer grain-based bowls such as "The Goddess" which contains carrots, beets, broccoli, kale, and tofu all over brown rice with a Ginger Nama Shoyu Sauce. You can also choose from many other quirky titled menu items like “The Rebel”, The Emperor” or “The Swami." You can dine in, get it delivered through apps like Postmates and Foodler, or order online for pick up through Life Alive's mobile app.

BU Students React to the News

Through their mission Life Alive aims to "feed the vitality of the world...one meal at a time." If that doesn’t draw you in, maybe their whopping 4.5 star rating on yelp will, or maybe you are in the large percentage of BU students that are still salty they can no longer walk across the street to get a "you pick two" for dinner. I asked several students how they felt about Panera leaving and they had a few words. 

Rachel Trebach, a junior in the College of Arts and Sciences said, "It's actually terrible. One, it was a great place to study. And two, the food is amazing, simple, and for the most part healthy."

On the other hand, when asked about Life Alive's pending arrival, many students are excited about the potential possibilities. Maddie Hughes, a sophomore in the College of Communication said, "I obviously wish Panera was still here, but I'm really excited Life Alive is coming to campus. It definitely is a healthier option! Wish we had both."

Many students who claim to be vegan or vegetarian said they are very excited because they prefer that type of food. Of course a majority of students were only more upset to learn their beloved west campus Panera was to be replaced by a strictly vegan cafe. 

According to "The Rise Of The Vegan" Veganism has grown by five hundred percent since 2014, most of the growth coming from millennials. Clearly there is a market for vegan food, and Life Alive is capitalizing on that. Whether you are vegan or not, this restaurant might be worth a try.