We were headed south on Highway 5 on a Sunday evening, planning to eat late and drive into the night. We found the Willows Black Bear Diner on Google Maps, and checked the closing time of 10 PM. So we got there around 8:40 PM. We were greeted and seated, and only then did we see that the restaurant closed at 9 PM. Apparently 10 PM is the summer hours, and no one had changed the website for the winter. Nevertheless, our waiter, Jeff, assured us that we could have dinner and that we would not be a bother at all. So when we arrived, there were perhaps 10 cars in the parking lot. When we left around 9:30 PM, ours was the last car. So we kind of had the place to ourselves for most of our meal.
I don’t know when we have had such friendly service! Of course, we were the only table Jeff was waiting on for perhaps 2/3 of our meal. Not only did we get high quality food service, but also we learned a bit more about Jeff — a psychology student with aspirations to open a home for troubled teens. He was a breath of fresh air in a world that often seems cold and callous.
Black Bear Diner food is excellent! Portions are generous, the taste is great, and the appearance is nice. We have probably eaten at various Black Bear Diners 6 different times, and always been happy we did. I really like the mission and values statement printed on the menus — it’s too bad that more companies in America don’t adopt these kinds of values: they greatly benefit the customers, the employees, and the owners all at the same time.
I will definitely be back the next time I am through this area, and hope that I can get Jeff again as a server. He really made a good meal into an excellent experience.
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