BIZNOTE: Panda Express back on the table for West Seattle

Ten years ago, we reported on an application filed to turn a space on the south side of Westwood Village into a location for Panda Express, the fast-Chinese-food chain. That proposal eventually stalled, and the space became a physical-therapy clinic. Today, checking the Westwood Village map – which is where the center’s new-ish owners have first publicly disclosed future tenants – we discovered Panda Express is back in the picture.

That’s a screengrab showing a new addition to the map today – Panda Express is penciled in for the spot next to QFC that Pet Pros occupied before moving to Jefferson Square. It’s in the row that already holds many of WWV’s other food/beverage businesses – Sub Stop, Toshi’s Teriyaki, Happy Lemon, Starbucks. We have an inquiry out to Panda Express to see if they’ll comment. Their nearest restaurant is in Burien; the two existing Seattle locations are both in the north part of the city.

60 Replies to "BIZNOTE: Panda Express back on the table for West Seattle"

  • Zebra October 18, 2023 (5:00 pm)

    I guess how quickly that Mod Pizza opened up then people need to hold their breath for a couple of years before Panda express actually opens up in Westwood Village area. 

  • Brian October 18, 2023 (5:15 pm)

    Looks like (battered and deep fried) meat is back on the menu, boys.

    • LOTRgeek October 18, 2023 (10:33 pm)


  • Rhonda October 18, 2023 (5:36 pm)

    Great! This will save me a 5-mile drive into south Burien to get my Panda Express fix. Now if they’ll just bring back their delicious eggplant tofu and firecracker chicken.

  • Mark Schletty October 18, 2023 (6:43 pm)

    Yuk. We need a real authentic Chinese restaurant. 

    • Erik October 18, 2023 (7:19 pm)

      Good to know your opinion…I think Panda Express knows they aren’t high quality Chinese food and that’s their target market. Personally I love Panda Express occasionally and am happy to see its coming to Westwood Village.

      • WW Resident October 19, 2023 (7:14 am)

        I think everyone in their right mind knows Panda Express isn’t high quality

    • Del October 18, 2023 (7:56 pm)

      That was my thoughts. Bring in mom and pop restaurants not fast food chains. 

      • East Coast Cynic October 19, 2023 (11:21 am)

        Maybe the WWV rents are too high for the Mom and Pop stores and restaurants, which may be why we only see the chains set up shop.

        • Ex-Westwood Resident October 19, 2023 (12:49 pm)


          We have a winner!!!

          That is why Barnes and Noble left years ago; their lease was going to go up $30K (from $22K to $52K), and even though the store was one of the most profitable B&N’s in the city, they decided to pull the plug. 

        • Richard October 19, 2023 (4:04 pm)

          the owners of WWV can obviously be doing rent increases maliciously, but it may be required to stay afloat. more than 1/2 the sq. footage of WWV is parking or roads. to be able to subsidize all that property for cars, they need to maximize what they make off what’s left. WWV rent will stay high until there’s a crash or more of its land becomes revenue generating.

    • Ly October 18, 2023 (8:20 pm)


    • Lp October 19, 2023 (6:57 pm)

      I agree. 💯

  • ricedawg October 18, 2023 (6:57 pm)

    It will immediately have bragging rights as  West Seattle’s Best Chinese Restaurant.

    • Admiral October 18, 2023 (7:58 pm)

      That title will probably remain with new luck toy

      • Erik October 19, 2023 (7:57 pm)

        In the very least, they’ll be out to the abomination that was yen wor villages food.

  • Mykscott October 18, 2023 (6:58 pm)

    Really? That’s how bad it’s become around here that you’re now excited about Panda Express opening up here.

  • Joe October 18, 2023 (7:41 pm)

    It’s the McDonalds of Chinese food. Just what we need.

    • American October 18, 2023 (9:27 pm)

      Yup yupit is the American Chinese Food.Makes everyone happy…..

      • Ly October 19, 2023 (12:58 pm)

        Except this half Chinese person. 😂

  • Craig Threlkeld October 18, 2023 (8:13 pm)

    The C-ID is (virtually) right next door but some would rather eat THIS crap?Okay then.

    • Rhonda October 18, 2023 (10:56 pm)

      1) Some of the CID Chinese restaurant food is much worse than Panda Express.2) The CID has become a dangerous place to be.3) More than one CID restaurant owner has moved their businesses out of Seattle to Renton, Tukwila, Bellevue, Kent, etc.

      • foop October 19, 2023 (12:47 am)

        Its a short bus ride away and it is not dangerous. Please don’t disparage neighborhood you clearly don’t go to that way. Delicous food over at Ft St George and Mikes Noodle house. 

      • Derek October 19, 2023 (12:39 pm)

        Rhonda you seem scared of your own shadow. CID is a fine neighborhood, funny that this Panda Express would be located in a worse crime neighborhood but you’re going to disparage an Asian community? 

        • WW Resident October 19, 2023 (3:54 pm)

          Give me a break Derek. Just because she’s criticizing the safety of a neighborhood or what she feels are the quality of some of the restaurants doesn’t mean she’s disparaging an Asian community. If I say that Little Saigon has turned into a dump these last few years, it’s not disparaging an Asian community. It’s a criticism of our so called city leaders that let it get that way. BTW, many people in the ID feel the same as Rhonda which is why they had a big protest not too long ago raising awareness and criticizing so called city leaders for not doing more. And my wife who is an Asian immigrant agrees with that assessment 

        • Rhonda October 19, 2023 (9:54 pm)

          Uh, Derek, I happen to BE Asian and my family goes to the CID Uwajamaya weekly. My grandfather owned a business there before Roosevelt put he and my grandmother in a prison camp.

    • RayWest October 24, 2023 (12:51 pm)

      Craig Threlkeld – Some might consider the C-ID to just be a quick bus ride away, but for many people, myself included, it is not an easy or realistic option when one just wants a nearby place to grab some fast and easy “to-go” Chinese food. And sorry to burst some peoples’ bubble, but downtown Seattle, including the C-ID, is not particularly safe, particularly at night. Look at how bad it’s getting in West Seattle with the increased crime and we’re supposed to believe we’re safer downtown? I don’t think so.

  • what October 18, 2023 (9:02 pm)

    Yes, just bring in mom and pop restaurants! Its just that easy!How many mom and pop places are there nowadays? Maybe not many because the entire concept is a fairy story you’ve seen on TV?

    • Eric October 19, 2023 (12:24 am)

      The management ran the mom and pop places out.  If you didn’t want to sign a 10 year lease they’d let your current one expire.  That’s how we lost EATS.

    • Bus October 19, 2023 (7:22 am)

      What restaurants can (or want to) move into the shopping center has a lot to do with property management.  The new owners seem to really like chains.  Lots of great mom-and-pop places nearby WWV on South Delridge and White Center.

  • Pandaluv October 18, 2023 (9:14 pm)

    I’m so excited, and I just can’t hide it (oh no oh no), I’m about to lose control and I think I like it! Yay!

  • Revilo October 18, 2023 (9:46 pm)

    Never had panda. Must be good, seems wrong. 

    • Craig Threlkeld October 19, 2023 (11:16 am)

      As reported earlier,  if heavily battered and deep-fried is appealing to you,  have at it.

  • LG October 18, 2023 (10:43 pm)

    So happy to hear this! New luck toy is overpriced and underwhelming. I miss Lee’s Asian so much but would gladly take Panda Express. Fresh vegetables, solid Chinese food that tastes the same every time. The $32 family meal or the $11 plate is the perfect price for what you get. 

  • ID October 19, 2023 (1:48 am)

    Curious ~ when did the ID become CID? How was it decided Chinatown got the special callout and not Japantown, Manilatown, Little Saigon…

    • The Earl October 19, 2023 (7:53 am)

      the real question is. when did chinatown become the ID. then when did the ID become CID

    • Craig Threlkeld October 19, 2023 (11:23 am)

      I dunno.THIS Caucasian just does what he’s told (sometimes).While, admittedly, it DOES take an extra second (if that) I have to admit it doesn’t really bother me.

  • waikikigirl October 19, 2023 (5:57 am)

    The ID became the ID when people became hurt and cried it wasn’t (in their eyes) “politically correct” to call that neighborhood Chinatown.  When the “C” was added, I have no idea. I’m 67, half Japanese and it was always called Chinatown growing up and my Dad, full Japanese, was never offended by it being called Chinatown.  But nowadays some get offended by almost everything.As for Panda Express, I’ve never eaten there so can’t say I’m excited or not. I’d rather cook my own, then you can control what’s going into the meal. But I do think it’ll be a good addition to WWV.

  • Jeepney October 19, 2023 (6:46 am)

    This is great news!  More food options at Westwood Village and one less empty storefront.  Also the benefits of hiring local neighbors for jobs.

  • skeeter October 19, 2023 (8:18 am)

    Great timing!  I just signed up for the Panda website and they sent me a coupon for 20% off my next order.  Life is good.

  • CeeBee October 19, 2023 (8:32 am)

    Short explanation here about why it’s now a hybrid name

  • DRW October 19, 2023 (10:02 am)

    What if Nordstrom Rack opens up in Westwood Village? Would you shop there?

    • WS4Life October 24, 2023 (8:50 pm)

      Hell yes I would!

  • Craig Threlkeld October 19, 2023 (11:26 am)

    History:Before Chinatown was the International District, it was Chinatown. When did THAT change?

    • Craig Threlkeld October 19, 2023 (2:58 pm)

      Apparently, some have never heard of redlining. You just lived wherever you want, right?Also, loans are cheep and plentiful.  Got it.

  • Tired October 19, 2023 (11:31 am)

    This still doesn’t solve for the absence of pad thai at Vatsanas.  I keep asking the lady at Toshis to resurect the order, she won’t do it.

  • RayWest October 19, 2023 (11:32 am)

    Hmmm . . . not sure how I feel about them. Not the worst Chinese food I’ve ever had, they offer a varied selection,  and are far, far better than the terrible, now-defunct Yen Wor Village,  but not great. They do fit with the other Westwood food vendors,  which are pretty average at best. Still, it’s better than what’s currently available in West Seattle right now, which is practically nothing. They’ll probably do well there, but please, please, please, somebody open a really good, relatively cheap Chinese/American restaurant. God, I miss this Golden Sun on Alki. It was standard, Chinese/American, but they did it so well.

  • Bubbleator October 19, 2023 (11:34 am)

    It’s reasonably edible Chinese-American food that is actually affordable and is quick and convenient for a lot of working folks.   Sorry not sorry, foodies and retail snobs.

  • valvashon October 19, 2023 (12:44 pm)

    The only map I see Panda Express on is one of two on the Shopcore Properties site.  Panda Express is not shown on the consumer facing Westwood Village site.  Wondering if this is for real.

    • WSB October 19, 2023 (2:24 pm)

      We don’t make these things up. In watching Westwood Village for years, the current ownership only announces impending tenants by putting them on the map. This has been borne out with Five Guys, America’s Best Contacts, Pet Supplies Plus, for example. Daiso too – while it hasn’t opened yet, it is continuing to progress through the city permit system, including a sign permit application. Sometimes the city permit filings have preceded the debut on the center map. Fitness 19 turned up in the city permit system before it showed up on the map, but it is about to open. Happy Lemon turned up in the city permit before Vatsana’s even closed. Obviously, as happened with Panda Express 10 years ago (it should be noted, different center ownership/management), a company can always change their mind. Hasn’t happened yet under this ownership, though, which is why I’ve felt comfortable in reporting “hey, look what turned up on the map” – TR

  • Gema October 19, 2023 (1:14 pm)

    Try the K-Pop at 16th SW & SW Holden for a great mom & pop Korean meal.  They’re open!

  • Craig Threlkeld October 19, 2023 (2:48 pm)

    While I am a bit of a (admitted) food snob (I used to be a cook and probably DO have higher standards than most) calling for better and cheaper fare is HARDLY snobby.

  • Craig Threlkeld October 19, 2023 (2:51 pm)

    Also, if local and family-run is available, I will spend my money in the community.I’m obviously a horrible person.

  • Anywhere but here October 19, 2023 (11:27 pm)

    How come so many people are bugged because it’s now called the international district instead of Chinatown? Seems like a weird thing to be upset about. 

    • WS4Life October 24, 2023 (8:53 pm)

      Because it discounts all the other countries that are represented in the ID. There are Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese places too.

  • Rob October 20, 2023 (7:00 am)

    If you want your Asian food fix just go to Youngs on 16th across from the live butcher  for breakfast  

  • WS_Dad October 20, 2023 (2:24 pm)

    Meh…it’s better than a vacancy. Barely.

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