Mandarin Gourmet has a “five year lease,” staff is “hopeful”

The building that Mandarin operates out of was recently sold, calling their future into question


Photo by Kylie Thomas

Diners eat in at Mandarin Gourmet

Written By Kylie Thomas, Co-Features/A&E Editor

Not even a block from Lawerence Hall is the Chinese and Japanese restaurant Mandarin Gourmet. The restaurant has become a staple of the Point Park student’s diet, especially since it provides students with a 10 percent discount, while also serving citizens and tourists all over Pittsburgh. The restaurant was even featured in the 2019 movie, “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood,” about Pittsburgh celebrity Fred Rogers.

In April, the building that Mandarin Gourmet resides in was sold to renovate into an apartment tower for downtown, leaving students anxious as to what would happen to the restaurant. Point Park’s Center for Media Innovation also occupies space in this building, and will be forced to move because of the sale. Though Mandarin Gourmet server Will Qian, assures students that the restaurant is hopefully here to stay. 

“The building is sold and they are going to turn the building into apartments but we just renewed our lease at the end of last year so we still have another five years lease,” said Qian. “We haven’t heard anything from the new building owner about what’s going on with construction but we are staying for at least the moment.”

Qian’s confirmation comes as a relief to students who have been coming to the restaurant for years. Kyle Arnold, a senior Human Resource Management major, has been coming to Mandarin Gourmet since his freshman year of college and holds a passion for not just the food but its workers as well. 

“There are many reasons I love Mandarin Gourmet but the reason I love it the most is due to the server, Will,” said Arnold. “Will and I have always had a special bond. Every time I walk by he waves and smiles at me. When I go there for lunch or dinner he is always welcoming and asks about my college journal as well as my life. Even after graduation I see myself going to Mandarin.”

Another senior student Mara Leroux, a cinema production major, also has a long history with Mandarin Gourmet but has truly grown a love for the restaurant in the past year. 

“I went to the restaurant for the first time my freshman year and loved the food but I didn’t go much my sophomore year due to coronavirus,” said Leroux. “But junior year I started going more with friends and quickly fell in love with the atmosphere. It has big quantities that fill me up and the free tea actually made me start drinking tea more often.”

However, it isn’t just current students that the restaurant has had an impact on. Political science alumni Anthony Costulas, visited the restaurant during his time in college nearly 10 years ago with a graduation year of 2012. 

“My wife and I actually had our first date at Mandarin Gourmet,” said Costulas. “We ate there too many times to count and it was a big part of our Point Park experience.” 

While there are some uncertainties with the construction of the new apartment building, students will still be able to continue to make memories at Mandarin Gourmet and enjoy the food that has been feeding students for a number of years.