Student Union continues to search for Panda Express replacement

Although UConn does not have a new restaurant under contract for the vacant space, they are seeking proposals from potential companies who wish to operate the space, according to a according to Stephanie Reitz. (File/The Daily Campus)

Since Panda Express left the University of Connecticut’s Student Union after more than a decade, UConn has still been seeking for a new restaurant to fill the space.

The lease on Panda Express’ 700-square-foot square expired earlier in May, and the restaurant removed themselves from the bid process, according to UConn spokesperson, Stephanie Reitz.

“[Panda Express’] franchisee told the university that it was withdrawing due to the difficulty of operating a store that is geographically far from its other locations,” Reitz said in an email. “The next closest Panda Express is at Foxwoods Resort Casino, and the other four Connecticut locations are all in Fairfield County.”

Although UConn does not have a new restaurant under contract for the vacant space, they are seeking proposals from potential companies who wish to operate the space, according to a according to Stephanie Reitz. 

“The university isn’t allowed to disclose specifics about bid proposals while the process is underway. Once a new tenant is selected for the space, we’d be at liberty to discuss the number and types of proposals that were submitted,” Reitz said. “UConn is seeking the kind of fast, casual vendor that is currently there and has been there in the past, but is open to a variety of suggested restaurant types and cuisines.”

In response to Panda Express leaving, the majority of students have been disappointed over its removal, according to Reitz. However, students are looking forward to new possibilities.

Autumn Blasi, freshman political science major, said, “They have a good variety in the Union. But, I would want a McDonald’s. I miss McDonald's so much.”


Rachel Philipson is a contributor for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at rachel.philipson@uconn.edu.