The lots being cleared on Valley Mills Drive near the intersection with Lake Air will bring some new things to our area.
Some we already know about, while I'm still working on getting confirmation of others. The two we know are Aldi and Mama Fu's.
Aldi, a grocery chain, posted signage on a portable building at the site and I spoke with a construction foreman, who told me he was working just with Aldi and that Barsh is handling the overall strip center. That means, obviously, that there is going to be a strip center.
And it will house at least one restaurant. Waco Tribune-Herald business columnist Mike Copeland reported last week that Mama Fu's will be opening a Waco restaurant in the coming months. I'm guessing it will be closer to December or January.
Mama Fu's is an Asian fast-food chain based out of Austin. Glancing at the menu, it appears to be somewhere between Panda Express and Pei Wei in terms of a cuisine. Though I did just notice one of the entrees is a flat iron steak, which might indicate a little higher level of fanciness. We'll have to wait and see. Or I guess I could check out the one in Georgetown and report back.
Within the last year, a sign in front of the old First Federal building on the corner of Valley Mills and Lake Air announced Mama Fu's and Which Wich would be opening stores in that renovated building. Something kept that from happening because Which Wich chose another nearby location at Bosque and Wooded Acres, and now Mama Fu's has found another spot.
As for Aldi, don't expect it to be our Whole Foods or Central Market. Copeland's column explained that the grocer saves costs in areas like bagging groceries and shopping carts in order to save money for the customer. It sounds like it will be more like the old Sack N Save.
However, on the bright side of grocery news, the H-E-B planned for the Valley MIlls Drive-Interstate 35 area is supposed to replace the Woodway Heaven HEB as the largest H-E-B in town. That could be pretty impressive.