published Sunday, November 27th, 2011

Panda Express brings China to Gunbarrel

Retail space at the end of this building at the corner of Gunbarrel Road and Commons Boulevard will become a Panda Express restaurant.
Retail space at the end of this building at the corner of Gunbarrel Road and Commons Boulevard will become a Panda Express restaurant.
Photo by John Rawlston.

• Name: Panda Express

• Location: 2288 Gunbarrel Road, at the corner of Gunbarrel Road and Commons Boulevard

• Status: The project is just ramping up, according to Royce Cornelison of P&C Construction. The plan, he says, it to “build out and modify an existing space to Panda Express specifications.” Demolition is under way right now, and construction will start after the Thanksgiving holiday. The site was formerly a nail salon, but the whole interior will have to be changed over for its new use as a food server.

• Cost: Between $500,000 and $600,000

• Features: Panda Express started with a simple idea and fast execution: “Chinese food, well cooked and served fast,” according to the company’s website. The first restaurant opened in 1973 in Pasadena, Calif., wowing diners with its speed, taste and cleanliness.

• Founders: Panda Express was founded and is still owned by Andrew and Peggy Cherng.

• Company info: Panda Express sales in 2010 exceeded $1.4 billion after the company added 76 new locations last year. Over the last five years, Panda has built more than 600 locations throughout the U.S. The company says it will operate “well over 1,400 restaurants” by the end of 2011.

• Builders: P&C Construction Inc., Brent Stone, project manager

• Completion Date: Tentative, early to mid-February

about Ellis Smith...

Ellis Smith joined the Chattanooga Times Free Press in January 2010 as a business reporter. His beat includes the flooring industry, Chattem, Unum, Krystal, the automobile market, real estate and technology. Ellis is from Marietta, Ga., and has a bachelor’s degree in mass communication at the University of West Georgia. He previously worked at UTV-13 News, Carrollton, Ga., as a producer; at the The West Georgian, Carrollton, Ga., as editor; and at the Times-Georgian, Carrollton, ...

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Pizzaguy said...

Another chain restaurant! WOW. I am so excited.

November 27, 2011 at 6:54 p.m.
ex_army65 said...

Panda Express is as close to China as Taco Bell is Mexico

November 28, 2011 at 7:04 a.m.
Salsa said...

Better than yet another BBQ restaurant.

November 28, 2011 at 11:04 a.m.
WHS1970 said...

Does Jack Benson know about this?

November 28, 2011 at 3:46 p.m.
Astropig said...

Panda Express is awful. Find a real Chinese restaurant (preferably run by a multigenerational family) and you will pay less,get better service and not have to clean your own table.

PE is for rubes that thought that Sbarro was quick,cheap ,authentic Italian.

November 28, 2011 at 4:01 p.m.
Beamis said...

"PE is for rubes that thought that Sbarro was quick,cheap ,authentic Italian."

I couldn't agree more.

November 28, 2011 at 5:40 p.m.
chestnutt said...

Eeeuuu! More garbage food! How disgusting! Why can Chatt not get any good locally run restaurants? Go to Charleston and see how it's really done!

November 28, 2011 at 6:19 p.m.
MasterChefLen said...

The Panda Express owners must have paid Jack Benson his payola as I see him not protest this restaurant opening and blocking an IHOP on Gunbarrel road.

November 28, 2011 at 11:40 p.m.
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