Big Appetites Rejoice: Black Bear Diner Coming to Santa Clarita

Black Bear Diner is taking over the old Applebee’s location on Valencia Boulevard. | Image: Black Bear Diner

For nearly a decade the Applebee’s space along Valencia Boulevard and Creekside Road has sat empty. It’s not that we missed the Applebee’s cuisine all that much, but large empty retail spaces are just downright depressing (yeah, we’re looking at you old Albertsons space in Westridge).

We’ve heard rumors for a couple years now that Black Bear Diner, an old-fashioned diner that started in Mt. Shasta more than 20 years ago, was coming to Santa Clarita. Now, it seems those rumors are true: You may have seen the sign out in front of the Applebee’s space that heralds the coming of the carved wooden bears and murals and forest kitsch decor.

And we can’t wait.

We’re always in the mood for breakfast, and Black Bear Diner serves it up all day long (though they serve up lunch and dinner, too). The portions are bear-sized, so be prepared to take home leftovers for your next meal. The Valencia location is slated to open in the early part of 2018, according to the Black Bear Diner website.

This is one of the few menu items that we can almost finish at the Black Bear Diner. Bear’s Choice: A Pancake, eggs and sausage. | Image: Christine N. Ziemba

In the meantime, we’ll just prepare mentally for our first bite of their buttermilk and sweet cream batter pancakes…or the Bigfoot Chicken Fried Steak & Eggs (with the biscuits and gravy)…the Housemade Meatloaf…the Machaca Breakfast Tacos…the ginormous Bear Claw…

You get the picture—Black Bear is poised to up the breakfast game in the SCV.


Dinner at Cathy’s Breakfast Cafe

Egg in a Nest at Cathy’s Deli.

Since Eric Tovar-Plummer took ownership of Cathy’s Breakfast Cafe and Deli (aka Cathy’s Deli on Lyons Avenue) last year, the longtime Newhall eatery has blossomed into arguably the best breakfast/lunch spot in Santa Clarita. Just try the pancakes, breakfast burritos or homemade jams (strawberry Earl Grey is our fav)—anything, really—and taste the care that goes into every item on the menu.

But now Tovar-Plummer diving into the unknown with Cathy’s: Starting today (Aug. 3), the cafe expands its hours past 3 pm to serve early dinner items until 7 pm, from Wednesdays through Sundays.

We caught a glimpse of the new menu items on a recent visit, and the offerings look as tempting as the breakfasts. A few that looked exceptionally tasty include:

>> Egg in a Nest: Steamed rice, pulled pork, a marinated six-minute egg topped with house-made teriyaki, green onions and sesame seeds. (See photo above. A friend tried this on a recent visit and said it was delicious. She ate it all before we could ask to verify that opinion.)

>> Brick Chicken: Boneless 1/2 chicken pan seared with a side of cauliflower mash and soup or salad.

>> T-bone, Skirt Steak or Pork chop and Fries: Your choice of protein with fries and soup and salad.

>> Pork Chop Milanese: House-breaded pork chop topped with bacon honey gravy, a side of cauliflower mash and soup or salad.

We have a feeling that if dinner catches on at Cathy’s, Tovar-Plummer will have to extend those new ours to accommodate the demand.

Cathy’s Breakfast Cafe and Deli
23120 Lyons Ave., Suite 24
Hours: 7 am to 3 pm on Mondays and Tuesdays,
7 am to 7 pm on Wednesdays through Sundays