Exec: Black Bear Diner to open this summer in Citrus Heights

Black Bear Diner
File photo of Black Bear Diner’s restaurant in Elk Grove, which opened last November. The restaurant chain plans to open another franchise in Citrus Heights this summer. // Credit: Black Bear Diner

Updated March 22, 1:08 p.m.–
Comfort food lovers in search of large portions can expect a new Black Bear Diner to open in Citrus Heights as early as July, a company executive told residents at a neighborhood association meeting last week.

The new 5,000-square-foot restaurant will be located in the shopping center being constructed at Madison Avenue and Sunrise Boulevard.

Jerry Mercer, a vice president of Black Bear Diner, told residents that an exact opening date had not been set, due to restaurant construction still being underway, but he said the company is planning to open in July or August of this year.

Mercer addressed an audience of about 30 residents gathered at the Birdcage Heights Neighborhood Association’s March meeting, emphasizing that the new diner would bring added community involvement to the area. The executive said he hires those who “live in the community they work,” and said four managers from Citrus Heights have already been hired for the new restaurant, with additional hiring planned for about 120 employees.

[Read more about the city’s 11 neighborhood associations: Neighborhood groups REACH out to connect Citrus Heights residents]

Mercer said the menu will feature Black Bear’s distinctive local touch — a reprint from an archived newspaper page about the area. He also promised the restaurant would feature a good number of chainsaw-carved bear sculptures, which are a signature mark at any of the diner’s locations.

The Redding-based franchise restaurant chain currently has about 80 locations nationwide, with six more scheduled to open in California this year.

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Black Bear Diner will join several other stores and restaurants planned for the new 5.7-acre Capital Nursery Plaza in Citrus Heights. As previously reported on The Sentinel, a new Smart & Final Extra will be the first store to open at the plaza, with an opening date scheduled for May.

[See what else is opening at the new shopping center: New Citrus Heights shopping plaza to open in May]