Four new restaurants to open on North Atherton Street
Dec 24, 2012 (Centre Daily Times (Menafn - State College - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --The North Atherton Street corridor continues to attract new business.
Four restaurants -- Panera Bread, Ni Hao Asian Cuisine, Don Patron Mexican Grill and El Jalisco -- are slated to open in the early part of 2013, adding to the recent boom of retail stores in the area.
Ni Hao co-owner Endi Lu said he's aiming to open the 10,000-square-foot Asian-fusion restaurant in early January. Lu and his family own several local establishments including Bellefonte Wok and College Buffet but the newest one will be the largest.
It will feature an open kitchen so patrons can watch the food being cooked. Lu said that State College is becoming more diverse and he is trying to adjust to that by bringing the fusion restaurant that will combine cuisine from several different countries. The restaurant will be in Northland Center.
Representatives from Don Patron, who are looking to open the shop in the Walmart plaza in the middle of January, said they are looking to do strong business in the college town.
Jorge Bravo, manager of the Belle Venon location, said the owners have three restaurants in Morgantown W.Va, and are experienced with such locations.
"It's just Mexican food but the plan for that restaurant is to get it out as quickly as possible," adding that most meals will be ready in five to 10 minutes.
The rationale behind the quick service is so that students can grab a quick lunch before a class, but he added that it will be a family-friendly atmosphere as well.
Bravo said it will also feature food and alcoholic drink specials every week.
Though Panera already has a location in the downtown, joint-venture partner Braden Klinger said North Atherton Street is a completely different market.
He said some residents don't want to go downtown for lunch sometimes when Penn State is in session so the new location, which they hope will open in the first quarter of 2013, will provide an extra outlet for a panini or other food that the chain offers.
"Hopefully we can cater to the needs of the full-time residents," he said.
The location will be at the old Sherwin Williams paint shop, and Klinger said they have been looking to open there for four years. He said they should nail down a firm opening date by the beginning of February.
El Jalisco will be an offshoot of Rey Azteca, and call the old Otto's site home. Representatives from the restaurant were not available for comment by press time.
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