The opening of the free-standing Panda Express now under construction near the Grape Road Meijer will not affect a nearby location.
The University Park Mall restaurant will remain open even after the new free-standing Panda Express opens early next year at 5020 Grape Road, Mishawaka.
A tentative Jan. 15 opening date is planned.
"We are keeping both stores open because they serve different customers," says Jim Tarpey, regional real estate manager for Panda Express, which is based in Rosemead, Calif.
In fact, Panda Express is planning additional restaurant locations in our region as the company that serves a menu of Asian-inspired dishes looks toward further local expansion.
"We believe we could build another two to three locations in the South Bend designated market area," Tarpey says via e-mail.
The new 2,400-square-foot Panda Express near Meijer will offer 52 seats indoors, as well as outdoor patio seating and drive-through service. Panda Express will employ between 15 and 20 workers.
Opening announced for new pizza shop
A mid- to late-January opening is planned at Tony Sacco's Coal Oven Pizza.
The restaurant is now under construction at 201 Florence Ave., Mishawaka, at Toscana Park shopping center. Tony Sacco's, which is based in Fort Myers, Fla., will feature a unique 7,000-pound, 1,000-degree coal-burning oven in the middle of the restaurant.
Rue 21 plans apparel store in Plymouth
Rue 21 is entering the Plymouth market.
The national retailer plans to locate a 4,500-square-foot store in the former Blockbuster space at 1445 Pilgrim Lane, at Pilgrim Place shopping center.
A state construction report indicates remodeling work will be under way soon.
The retailer is based in Warrendale, Pa.
Rue 21, which specializes in trendy fashions and accessories for teens, also operates locations at 1290 E. Ireland Road, South Bend, as well as in Michigan City, Goshen and Warsaw in our region.
Mattress Firm will open two stores
The planned new Mattress Firm store in Mishawaka, announced in our column a few weeks ago, will not be the only area location for the growing company.
In addition to the store planned at 221 W. Day Road, near Del Taco, the Houston-based retail company is planning a south-side South Bend store.
That 6,600-square-foot store will be located in a new multitenant commercial building at 1245 E. Ireland Road, according to a state construction report. It will be slightly larger than the Mishawaka store.
There will also be room for a second store or a restaurant in the new building. The company currently operates more than 1,100 stores in 28 states.
Have you heard?
AutoZone will build a 7,100-square-foot store at 4500 Michigan St., near the intersection of Ireland Road, South Bend, a state construction report reveals. ... Kohl's Department Store has filed paperwork with the state for its planned 55,000-square-foot store located along U.S. 20 in Michigan City, at the longtime Dunes Plaza. ... Join our next live chat at 12:30 p.m. Tuesday.
Heidi Prescott's column runs in the South Bend Tribune on Fridays and Sundays. When she's not shopping, contact her at email@example.com or 574-235-6070. You can also talk retail at Facebook.com/thebasket and at Twitter.com/marketbasket.