By Van Mitchell
Black Bear Diner, a restaurant chain in the western United States which serves home-style and “old-fashioned” comfort foods, is coming to Midwest City this fall.
The restaurant will be located in the former Primo’s d’ Italia building at 5661 Tinker Diagonal.
Jolisa Johnson, marketing director for Black Bear Diner, said the Midwest City location will open in November and will provide about 75 jobs.
She said Midwest City was chosen in part because of its population growth.
“We look at different demographics and what is going on in a particular community and what would support our diner,” Johnson said. “This was a 5,400 square foot building and we like to do remodels. When we look at Midwest City we think this as a growth area for us.”
The first restaurant was opened in Mount Shasta, Calif. in 1995, founded by Bob and Laurie Manley with help from founding partner Bruce Dean. The company is based in Redding, Calif. It now claims 82 locations in eight states, 48 of which are in California, with 16 more under construction.
In choosing a name and a theme for their restaurant, they immediately decided upon the black bear. The black bear is native to the Mount Shasta area, which was once known as Berryvale, due to the vast strawberry fields once enjoyed by bears and townspeople alike. The first Black Bear Diner sits on the site of these fields.
Johnson said the Black Bear Diner menu includes a wide variety of comfort foods.
“Our menu is offered all day long so you can get pancakes at 6 p.m. or pot roast at 6 a.m.,” she said. “We really like a family-friendly environment.”
Robert Coleman, economic development director for the City of Midwest City said Black Bear Diner will be a welcomed addition to the city’s hospitality district.
“This restaurant will be one of only two in the city’s hospitality district, the other being the Emerald Room at the Sheraton Reed Center,” Coleman said.
Johnson said Black Bear Diner looks forward coming to town.
“This will be our first location in Oklahoma,” she said. “We are looking forward to meeting some new faces in the area,” she said.
For more information visit www.blackbeardiner.com