Panda Express opens in Delaware


More than a year after it was approved by the city, Panda Express opened its doors to the Delaware community on Feb. 28 with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

The American Chinese fast food chain, founded in southern California in 1983 by Andrew and Peggy Cherng, has nearly 2,500 locations in the United States. The Delaware location marks the second in Delaware County, joining the Polaris location.

“The Delaware community has welcomed Panda with open arms, and we are excited to welcome everyone into our doors to taste our American Chinese favorites, all freshly made with quality ingredients,” Esther Zhang, Panda Express area coach of operations, told The Gazette. “We decided to open a location in Delaware to make it more convenient and accessible for our guests to enjoy their favorite American Chinese classics from Panda Express.”

Located at 1400 Sunbury Road, Panda Express is the latest fast-food entity to find a home in the out parcels of the Glennwood Commons shopping center. Months before the approval of Panda Express, the City BBQ restaurant at 1200 Sunbury Road was approved and has since been constructed. In 2018, Raising Cane’s was approved by the city for one of the out parcels.

The Delaware location represents the debut of a new type of building for the company, referred to as the “Panda Home” design. The format showcases new design elements influenced by traditional Chinese architecture and is a tribute to the American Chinese heritage of its founders.

“The interior evokes a sense of celebration through vibrant colors and mashups of traditional and modern design motifs, all to welcome guests into the Panda family ‘home,’” Zhang said. “We recognize consumer habits have changed over time, and to meet the needs of guests’ evolved lifestyles, the new store design features a larger back-of-house area and double drive-thru lanes to better support speed of service while maintaining quality operations and service for our guests.”

According to Zhang, Panda Express is best known as “a trailblazer for creating a wide variety of industry-first recipes,” including the original orange chicken, its best-seller, as well as the honey walnut shrimp, which she said has “defined the category of authentic American Chinese cuisine.”

“Panda Express is often the first gateway to Chinese culture and food for many people across the country, and we pride ourselves on serving innovative American Chinese cuisine that are authentic, yet approachable Chinese-inspired dishes,” Zhang went on to say. “This is one of the reasons why we value variety; our serving table offers a spectrum of bold flavors and ingredients that are all rooted in American Chinese cuisine.”

Panda Express is open from 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and from 10 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Friday through Sunday.

Reach Dillon Davis at 740-413-0904. Follow him on Twitter @DillonDavis56.

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