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Panda Express chugs into town next month

Glenbrook Basin will have a new restaurant, with Panda Express opening around Nov. 20 ” the latest example of business expansion in the popular shopping area.

The quick-service Chinese restaurant, one of more than 800 nationally, is expected to boost tax revenue in Glenbrook Basin. It will open next door to Round Table Pizza on Sutton Way.

The basin accounted for about 21 percent of Grass Valley’s sales tax revenue in the first quarter of this year, said Carol Fish, the city’s director of finance. Per-quarter revenues from the basin have ranged between $232,000 and $325,000 since the second quarter of 2005 to date, she said.



The Panda Express opens on the heals of a number of recent remodeling and chain store arrivals in the area marked by Nevada City Highway, Brunswick Road and Sutton Way.

Safeway’s Lifestyles store opened on Sutton Way in March of this year in the former Ralphs Grocery Co. building. In July, Taco Bell reopened on Olympia Park Circle after rebuilding its facilities and adopting a mine-building look. Walgreens is trying to get an approval from the Grass Valley Planning Commission to open a store at the intersection of Brunswick Road and Sutton Way, on the former Jim Keil Chevrolet property.




The city of Grass Valley approved Panda Express’s remodeling plan in September, city Community Development Director Joe Heckel said.

“The amount of improvement they would do involves an area of about 1,875 square feet,” Heckel added.

On Thursday, construction workers labored amid piles of white gypsum boards, a freshly installed food counter and white dust.

“Right now, we are doing restoration, remodeling, adding walls, adding an air-conditioning system and doing floor and wall plumbing,” said Sheldon Homa, superintendent with Panda Express.

Panda Express locations exist in 37 American states. The company opened a restaurant in Truckee about four years ago. Panda Restaurant Group has more than 13,000 employees nationwide, according to the food-chain Web site,

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To contact Soumitro Sen, e-mail soumitros@theunion.com or call 477-4229.


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