Panda Express

A fast food restaurant chain serving American Chinese cuisine has submitted plans for the site of the former Golden Corral.

Panda Express, the largest Asian restaurant chain in the United States with 2,200 locations, is set to build on the lot located at 2830 W. 18th Ave.

City of Emporia Planning and Zoning Specialist Joe Foster said this project has been underway for the last 12 — 18 months, with the group receiving a sign variance last year.

“They have submitted formal planning for a Panda Express,” Foster said. “Now it’s official.”

Foster said he was not sure what the timeline was for the restaurant’s opening, but groundwork has already started on the site. He said it was his understanding that the former Golden Corral building, which has been empty since the buffet closed on Aug. 1, 2013, will be demolished.

“That might not happen right away, and they might even construct the new building without demolishing the existing one,” Foster said. “The lot is big enough.”

Foster said he believes a Panda Express will draw visitors off of the interstate. He does not believe it will affect existing Asian restaurants in Emporia.

“I think it’s good for our community,” he said.

Foster said there are plans for an eventual lot split in the future for more development opportunities.

“It’s a pretty big lot,” he said. “As of right now, Panda Express is the only business putting a building up at this time, but it does have the potential for some more growth in the area.”

The Gazette has reached out to Panda Express Corporate Headquarters for more information. We will update with more information as it becomes available.

(7) comments


Not Fred's Derby, New Freds . there are not any greasy spoon places to eat anymore, it is all Chinese an Mexican an Chpotle wheat state something or other.

Mom an Pop Places are started by, MOM AN POP But Todays old Mom an Pop want to die they hair pink an blue an pretend that 20 year olds think that they are cool. . W need a old Hump back lady an old guy with a limp to open up a 24hr restarant


If you want a steak an eggs hamburger an fries restaurant like S&S or Fred's then dig in your old man pockets an open one. I mean retirement can mean more than walking to the bridge an staring at gourds at the fair 1 time a year. You boomer Emporians have savings . instead of criticizing New Business open 1 yourself

Bill free

Did you not read what I wrote. I said the food was fine as I have had it in Wichita. Simple stated we need more choice. Also where did you get Fred's Derby from my commit.


it is a free country , anyone that can afford to build an open a restaurant can do so. As for the wages, if you don't want to work there then don't.

Emporians get mad anytime something new happens, when I was a kid they were mad at the bronze statues by the library, , ten it was Z burgers an was years before Jays carryout was accepted oh an does Jays or Reebles pay wages that folks buy houses an new cars with? More Business equals a better CHANCE of a high wages. if you have more places to work then the greater the chance of bargaining yourself a higher wage..


Well listen to Mr. Bargain Yourself a Higher Wage. I'd wager you've never had to work for minimum wage because you had to, and then risk that job by trying to bargain for higher wages. It doesn't matter what size the area is, more working places does not equal higher wage opportunities. Believe me, those jobs in big cities still pay minimum wage if that is what your work experience and education grant. And typically, restaurant jobs pay the lowest. Wait staff depend heavily on tips because their hourly wage is so low. A little over $2 an hour on average. Think about that next time you go out to eat.


You are right, Bill. I am a central USA person, & I want to stay that way, & eat that way. However, I assume that the RDA came thru again, with another new business that will hire a lot of part time folks, & pay low wages with no benefits. Hoo-raay, that is the Emporia way!!!!!!!!!!!

Bill free

When is someone going to open a steak restaurant buffet like was there. I've eaten panda express and it's not bad but we need something beside Chinese Mexican and pizza.

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