Black Bear Diner
As tradition has it, I get picked up at the airport, then we go to eat at a restaurant that we've not been to. Boise has so many restaurants, I don't think we'll ever run out of "new" places.
In 1995, founders Bob and Laurie Manley, along with founding partner Bruce Dean, created the first Black Bear Diner in Mt. Shasta, California. In choosing a name and a theme for their restaurant, Bob, Laurie, and Bruce, immediately decided upon the black bear. It was a natural. The legendary black bear is native to the Mt. 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.
The signature bear carvings are created by Ray Schulz of Deer Park, Washington. Ray has been making the bears since 1999 and has carved more than 200 bears for Black Bear Diner so far. Carved out of cedar logs that Ray purchases from private loggers in Washington, the bears are styled to reflect unique aspects of the area in which each Diner is located. Ray has created such diverse bears as skiing bears to farmer bears, hunters to cowboys! The most impressive of all is the 12-foot giant Black Bear – a common scene at each of the restaurants. (June 7, 2014)