Panda Express to open in UMC mid-October

University Memorial Center’s Subway and Alferd Packer Grill & Restaurant are getting a new neighbor in mid-October, when Panda Express moves into the space previously occupied by Wok & Roll Teriyaki.

UMC officials accepted Panda Express’s bid this summer to take the place of the sushi restaurant.

Panda Express will be replacing Wok & Roll next to Subway in the University Memorial Center food court. (Nate Bruzdzinski/CU Independent)
Panda Express will be replacing Wok & Roll next to Subway in the University Memorial Center food court. (Nate Bruzdzinski/CU Independent)

Andrea Zelinko, assistant director for administration at the UMC, said a student board questioned staff on campus and students in their classes about preferable food options for the student center. Interviews, Zelinko said, trended toward the conclusion that CU wanted restaurants that sell crepes, ice cream, Asian or Mediterranean cuisine.

“I’m excited! I like Panda Express a lot,” Vanessa Schreckengast, a 25-year-old graduate student, said.

The survey included menu choices that meet dietary needs, contributions to scholarships and the restaurants’ ability to meet recycling requirements, according to Zelinko.

Any food vendor that met the criteria and fell into one of the four categories was allowed to put in a bid to serve on campus.

Some students are looking forward to the restaurant’s arrival on campus next month.

”I think it’ll be a lot better than the old one because a lot more people know what Panda is,” Meagan Johnson, a 21-year-old English major, said.

Johnson worried she’s not getting the biggest bang for her buck from UMC vendors.

“I think they put restrictions on the portion of the food, and you still have to pay a lot for it,” she said.

Other students share Johnson’s financial concerns.

“To be honest, I really like Panda, so I’m glad it’s opening, but I’m a broke college student so I don’t know how much I’ll buy it,” Kelly Foster, a 20-year-old economics and integrative physiology major, said.

Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Danielle Meltz at Danielle.Meltz@colorado.edu, twitter/justmeltz.

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