Black Bear Diner, an award-winning family dining concept headquartered in Redding, California, announced that it has signed lease agreements for new restaurants in Katy, Texas, and Midwest City, Oklahoma. The new lease agreements in Oklahoma and Texas mark the first step toward eastward expansion for the rapidly expanding chain.
“This is an important marker for the growth and expansion of our brand as we transition from a regional chain to a national one,” says Bruce Dean, chief executive officer of Black Bear Diner. “We are excited to introduce Texas and Oklahoma to our comfort food classics, personal service and homey atmosphere, and use our success in these markets as a springboard for additional growth in these markets and beyond.”
Black Bear Diner recently secured an investment from PWP Growth Equity, a private equity fund affiliated with Perella Weinberg Partners that invests in leading, growth-oriented lower middle market companies. The partnership with PWP Growth Equity has positioned Black Bear Diner for sustained growth and continued expansion eastward.
Black Bear Diner’s growth is being fueled by a mix of new and existing franchisees in existing markets, as well as corporate stores in newer markets. Black Bear Diner saw a 16.2 increase in units from 2015 to 2016. This year, Black Bear Diner is on track to open up 24 new units, including their 100th restaurant in the third quarter.