Known for its signature bear murals and sculptures by western artists, The Black Bear Diner is now coming to Roseville, slated to bring business life back into an empty structure that once held an Applebee’s.
Black Bear Diner was started in 1995 by Bob and Laurie Manley and Bruce Dean, who opened in Strawberry Valley on the site of a former inn from the 1860s. The owners describe their mission as bringing the folksy, intimate small town feel of Shasta County to restaurant locations in different parts of the western United States. So far, the chain has expanded to 50 locations, with its newest hub aimed to take over the vacant building at 6700 Stanford Ranch Road in Roseville.
Black Bear Diner representatives emphasized that each location has its own theme around the array of carved wood bear sculptures and painted bear murals that adorn its walls. The cedar bear statues are the work of Washington-based artist Ray Schultz, while the murals are the products of California artists such as Steve and Gary Fitzgerald and Colleen Mitchell-Veyna.
“We’re incredibly excited to be coming to Roseville,” said Jolisay Johnson, a spokeswoman for Black Bear Diner. “The owners are aiming to have the diner opened the third week of December. We actually have a little race going between the new Roseville location and the new Emeryville location. They’re both trying to open the second or third week of December, so we’ll see which one comes on line first.”
~ Scott Thomas Anderson