Panda Express Restaurant Coming to Urbana
A Panda Express restaurant is coming to the Five Points area of Urbana.
The popular American Chinese quick-serve restaurant was issued a building permit earlier this month to construct a stand-alone restaurant at 106 E. University Ave., on a lot just east of the Jimmy John’s/Pancheros Mexican Grill restaurants.
Site work on the estimated $750,000 restaurant building has already begun, with an anticipated opening in July or August, according to Kiran Sidhuat, as associate real estate attorney with Panda Express Restaurant Group, based in Rosemead, Calif.
The restaurant will employ 20 to 25 people and will have a drive-through.
Urbana Mayor Laurel Prussing said she believes the new Panda Express will be successful, like the nearby Jimmy John’s, Pancheros and Wendy’s restaurants already are. All of these restaurants are located on out-lots of the Gateway Shoppes center.
Prussing noted that the downtown area and its fringe continue to see new business development, with 10 businesses having either recently opened, or that are undergoing expansion or redevelopment.
Panda Express has nearly 1,900 restaurants worldwide, with most of them U.S. based. Founded by Andrew and Peggy Cherng in 1983, the company is family owned and operated and employs 30,000 people.
Panda Express already has three restaurants in Champaign, at 627 S. Wright St., 2521 N. Prospect Ave., and at Market Place Shopping Center.
Patrons of Panda Express can choose from several different already prepared entrees, including selections such as Orange Chicken, Firecracker Chicken and Beijing Beef.