The Panda is on its way to the Med City.
Plans for Rochester’s first Panda Express Gourmet Chinese Cuisinerestaurant are moving along.
Once the weather thaws out a bit, look for construction to start on a 2,200-square-foot building in the parking lot at South Broadway and 25th Street SE.
That puts it next to the South Broadway Sterling State Bankbranch and in front of Kohl’s department store.
The California-based Panda Express is considered the largest Asian fast food chain in the U.S. However, it never has made its way to Rochester before.
There already are 11 Panda Expresses in Minnesota. Many are in mall food courts.
A Panda Express chef is considered the creator of the American/Chinese takeout staple, orange chicken.
Meanwhile, work is bouncing along inside the former Big Lots warehouse/store at 1607 U.S. 14 East.
Scott and Katrina Pulhamannounced in January they plan to transform the building into an entertainment and party center filled with trampoline features.
It will be called Air Insanity.
The Pulhams’ vision for Air Insanity includes a main 6,000-square-foot trampoline court, two dodgeball courts, basketball dunk jumps, a laser tag maze, a "fidget" ladder, four party rooms, concessions, an 1,800-square-foot Nerf battle zone and more.
Permits for the project have been approved and crews are demolishing walls inside the building to make way for the entertainment features.
There’s no word yet on possible opening dates, but mid- to late spring seems like a reasonable guess.