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When is Black Bear Diner going to open in Citrus Heights?

Black Bear Diner
Black Bear Diner hopes to open next year in this new 5,000 square foot building in Citrus Heights. // CH Sentinel

A 5,000-square-foot building in the new shopping center at Sunrise Boulevard and Madison Avenue is now complete and slated to become a Black Bear Diner, but a company executive confirmed last week that the Diner’s opening has been delayed again.

See updated story: Opening date finally set for Black Bear Diner in Citrus Heights

Although previously targeting an opening date as early as July 2016, and then September, and then November, the location likely won’t open until next year.

“It’s looking like February 2017 at this point,” said Jerry Mercer, a vice president of Black Bear Diner, in an email to The Sentinel. Dates posted on the Diner’s website also list an “early 2017” opening for the Citrus Heights location.

Asked why the date has been pushed back several times, Mercer said “it comes down to permits and securing a construction team.” He said the original construction team that was hired to do the work had to be replaced, and then “it took several months to secure a new construction company and then get the new plans approved.”

Mercer confirmed that the basic structure of the building is complete, and is “just waiting for us to turn it into a Black Bear Diner.”

Other restaurants and businesses at the new 5.7-acre Capital Nursery Plaza have also experienced construction delays, with temporary signs posted at the plaza last year listing an opening date of “January 2016.” Prior messages left with the plaza’s developer, PMB Development company in Petaluma, were not returned.

The building Black Bear will be housed in is currently listed for sale by PMB for $5.1 million. The price also includes the adjacent 3,470-square-feet building, which will partially be home to a new Cricket Wireless store, according to leasing agent Andrea Stirling, with The Edwards Co.

About Black Bear Diner
Earlier this year, Mercer addressed an audience of about 30 residents gathered at the Birdcage Heights Neighborhood Association’s March meeting and said the new diner will bring added community involvement to the area. The executive said he would hire those who “live in the community they work,” with about 120 employees on tap to be hired.

>>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 all of the diner’s locations.

The Redding-based franchise restaurant chain currently has about 80 locations nationwide, with 11 more scheduled to open in California by the end of next year.

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