RedZone, Panda Express to open in October

Kayla Swanson

When RedZone reopens, Anna Petty wants to eat one thing and one thing only.

The Leitchfield sophomore said chili dogs are her favorite to eat at the restaurant.

“My mom used to make them all the time, especially this time of year because it’s getting colder,” Petty said.

Petty and other students will have to wait a little longer for chili dogs from RedZone, because construction won’t be finished until Oct.1, Dining Services director Tim Colley said.

The contractor is anticipated to be finished by that date, Colley said, and after that, equipment, such as fountain drink units, will need to be put back in.

According to Colley, the official opening date for RedZone will depend on if the contractor is finished by Oct.1.

Construction to the back seating area of the restaurant will also limit seating.

Gary Meszaros, assistant vice president of Auxiliary Services, said more seating has been added outside to compensate for the seating construction.

RedZone will also have a reduced menu, but students will still be able to use meal plans there, Meszaros said.

“They’ll still have Papa Johns, there’s a meal plan option for that and I know the chicken tenders are a very popular option,” he said.

Students wanting to eat at the new Panda Express in Garrett Conference center will have to wait longer. Panda Express is set for a “soft opening” on Oct. 4.

Colley said Panda Express would serve lunch on that day and Oct. 5 and dinner on Oct. 7.

It will officially open on Oct. 8, when students return from fall break, Meszaros said.

Colley said students would have three meal plan options at the restaurant.

Approval from the state for exhaust hoods for the restaurant has delayed the opening, Meszaros said.

The university is set to get approval from the state on Oct. 1.

“They’re going to have a chance to get the equipment in, get the equipment tested, get all the food, stock all the refrigerators, coolers, and things like that and they’re going to start training the Panda Express people,” he said.