Local restaurant closes, will be replaced soon

Panda Kitchen has closed but there is a sign for a new Chinese food restaurant coming to Hillsboro. Laura Fowler Paulus / Free Press
Panda Kitchen has closed but there is a sign for a new Chinese food restaurant coming to Hillsboro. Laura Fowler Paulus / Free Press
For the last six years, Marion County residents have been able to enjoy Chinese food at Panda Kitchen in Hillsboro. The Lin family has run it the entire time.

But now, the family is moving to Kansas City and they have closed the Panda Kitchen for good. The owner, QingYun Lin, does not speak English but his daughter Ying, a sophmore at Hillsboro High School speaks English and interprets for her dad.

“Dad is starting a big business in Kansas City. But not a restaurant because he is tired of that,” said Ying Lin.

The good news is that Lin sold his restaurant to his friend ZhaoShuai Zhang. While Zhang also does not speak English and thus was unavailable for an interview, Ying Lin said that the plan is to open a new Chinese restaurant in May in the same spot. The new place will be called Panda Buffet.

Ying Lin is sad to leave the place that has come to be home for her, but she is also excited to just be a kid and not have to help run the family business.

“I woke up on Sunday and thought I forgot to get to the restaurant. Then I remembered I don’t have to go there anymore. I get to just be a kid,” said Ying Lin.