Panda Express opens location in Tuscaloosa tornado recovery zone

Panda Express opens location in Tuscaloosa tornado recovery zone

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Officials at the ribbon cutting. Source: Kelvin Reynolds/WBRC Officials at the ribbon cutting. Source: Kelvin Reynolds/WBRC
Attendees celebrated with cake and sparkling cider. Source: Kelvin Reynolds/WBRC Attendees celebrated with cake and sparkling cider. Source: Kelvin Reynolds/WBRC
City employees enjoy a meal on the house. Source: Kelvin Reynolds/WBRC City employees enjoy a meal on the house. Source: Kelvin Reynolds/WBRC
TUSCALOOSA, AL (WBRC) -

A new business opened Friday in a part of Tuscaloosa that is being rebuilt after April 27.

City leaders joined Panda Express exmployees for a ribbon cutting ceremony Friday morning. The restaurant celebrated its recent opening by offering free meals to all city employees.

The restaurant is located near the intersection of 15th Street and McFarland Boulevard. A manager says the company is happy to be a part of the road to recovery.

"We wanted to make sure that we were part of the rebuilding of this community because we feel like that was very tragic and we know that a lot people suffered from it," manager Jason Kiehm.

The grand opening celebration continues Saturday, May 17 with a fundraiser with Tuscaloosa One Place from noon until 9 p.m.

From 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., there will be kid-friendly activities, prize giveaways and a chance to take a picture with Panda Express' mascot, Pei Pei.

Anyone who brings a non-perishable item for the West Alabama Food Bank between 11 a.m. and 9 p.m. will receive a coupon for a free entree with the purchase of another meal.

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