Panda Express fans in distress, confess lack of progress

Austin Walker
Staff Writer

Another delay came yesterday regarding the grand opening of VCU’s newest restaurant, a franchise of the popular Panda Express chain.

The project has experienced consistent delays and postponements of the store’s opening, with the original opening planned for October of 2014.

Within the TelegRAM announcement also came the news that the Panda Express will be accepting Meal Exchange from 5 p.m. until 1 a.m. Monday through Sunday, making it one of only four restaurants that remains open for students beyond midnight.

Panda Express is the largest Chinese-American food chain in the United States, with over 1,700 locations nationally. The demand for Chinese food has been prevalent on VCU’s campus since 2012, when a student survey concluded it was in the highest demand for on-campus dining.

There are Chinese take-out restaurants dotted around the Monroe Park and MCV campus already. None of these are affiliated with VCU and do not accept student’s meal plans.

After a delay last year, Manager of Sales and Services for VCU Dining Services Tamara Highsmith said “there’s only so much we can construct at one time with the way budgets go.”

Alongside the Panda Express, the construction of the VCU’s Walmart on Campus is still underway. The office spaces and apartments above are continuing to be leased.

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