Panda Inn

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Panda Inn
Genresit-down Chinese restaurants
FoundedPasadena, California (June 8, 1973; 45 years ago (1973-06-08))
Number of locations
Area served
Southern California
Key people
  • Andrew Cherng, Founder and Chairman of the Board
  • Peggy Cherng, Ph.D., Co-Chairman of the Board
  • Tom Davin, Chief Executive Officer
OwnerPanda Restaurant Group

Panda Inn is a chain of sit-down Chinese restaurants in California owned and operated by the Panda Restaurant Group.[1][2][3]

The company's original founding goal was to bring new varieties of Chinese cuisine, such as Mandarin cuisine and Szechuan cuisine dishes, to Southern California, which had traditionally favored Chinese Cantonese cuisine.[4]


The first Panda Inn was founded by Andrew and Peggy Cherng and Andrew's father, Master Chef Ming-Tsai Cherng,[5] all of whom used to live in the Yangzhou region of China's Jiangsu province. Their first location was opened on June 8, 1973 in Pasadena, California.[6] A short time after Ming-Tsai died, a second location was opened in 1982 in nearby Glendale.[6]

A few months after the opening of the Glendale location of the Panda Inn, the Cherngs were invited by the developer of the Glendale Galleria to open a quick serve version of the Panda Inn inside the mall. This new concept was called the Panda Express and it opened inside the Galleria in October 1983.[6]

The first Panda Inn in Orange County, the sixth in the chain, opened in La Palma in 1990.[7] A Panda Inn in San Diego opened at Horton Plaza in 1985[3] but closed in January 2017.[8]

Andrew Cherng and his wife Peggy Tsiang Cherng are alumni of Baker University in Baldwin City, Kansas.[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "What's black and white and ready to get fancy? Panda Group facing off with P.F. Chang.(RESTAURANT)(P.F. Chang's China Bistro Inc.)(Panda Restaurant Group Inc.)". Los Angeles Business Journal. August 13, 2007. Archived from the original on July 17, 2012. Retrieved October 10, 2008.
  2. ^ Booe, Martin (July 12, 2001). "A Two-Strike Start, but Panda Inn's a Hit; It's not dim sum, it's a buffet, and it's a chain, but this skeptic finds good food and value for the money in La Palma". Los Angeles Times. p. F.44. Retrieved February 1, 2009.
  3. ^ a b Nelson, David (December 12, 1985). "Horton Plaza's Panda Inn: Plum Tree Beef Arrives in San Diego, At Last". Los Angeles Times. p. 6. Retrieved February 1, 2009.
  4. ^ "About Panda Inn". Panda Inn. Archived from the original on February 6, 2003.
  5. ^ "About Panda Express (Inn)". Archived from the original on February 4, 2003.
  6. ^ a b c Eng, Dinah (February 5, 2013). "How Panda Express brings Chinese food to the mall". Fortune. Retrieved June 28, 2015.
  7. ^ Jacobson, Max (March 23, 1990). "The Equation Is a Little Off in Panda Inn Chain's Formula Chinese Food". Los Angeles Times.
  8. ^ Rowe, Peter (January 20, 2017). "Horton Plaza: from remarkable vision to troubled reality". San Diego Union Tribune. Retrieved September 2, 2017.
  9. ^ "Cherngs honored for contributions in L.A. area" (PDF). Baker Pride alumni magazine. Kansas: Baker University. Spring 2008. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 26, 2011.

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