Black Bear restaurant part of Max Casino’s renovations in Carson City

Ron McCain paints trim work on Monday in the new Black Bear Diner being built inside Max Casino.

Ron McCain paints trim work on Monday in the new Black Bear Diner being built inside Max Casino.

This bear should be a welcome sight in town.

Black Bear Diner, the restaurant chain known for its signature carved bear sculptures and generous food portions, is opening inside Max Casino next month.

“The feedback we’ve gotten has all been positive,” said Lee Kennedy, general manager, Max Casino. “Black Bear is well known and the food is excellent. I’ve been here since 1999 and the Carson City market loves this kind of food.”

The national franchise with 75 eateries, including locations in Reno, Sparks and Fernley, is on track to double the number of restaurants in the next three years.

The Carson Street casino property, which includes a 91-room Wyndham Garden Hotel, is holding a job fair Saturday to hire about 100 new employees for the diner, casino and lodging.

The fair will be held outside in the casino’s parking lot at 900 S. Carson St., weather permitting, or inside the casino, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“Hundreds of people have already come in to pick up applications,” said Kennedy.

Between 80 to 90 people will be hired for the new restaurant and then go through a 10-day training, he said.

The remaining jobs will be for various positions throughout the property, including in the hotel and on the casino floor.

The Black Bear Diner replaces the Carson Station restaurant, which closed in February.

Since then, guests have been eating at the casino’s snack bar, which will be renovated after the diner is open as will the nearby back bar, said Kennedy.

The restaurant is being completely redone with a new kitchen and expanded from 140 seats to seating for 183.

The cashier area near the casino’s main entrance will include a waiting area and gift shop for Black Bear items such as bottled hot sauce, stuffed bears and T-shirts.

BDR Construction, Gardnerville, is doing the six-week remodel, which includes new electrical, plumbing, dry wall and finish work.

The restaurant’s glass atrium is being refurbished, too, as overflow space for the diner as well as a private dining room for 40 that can be reserved.

A smaller private dining room for 10 is being added off the atrium.

The Black Bear Diner is the latest addition to the casino and hotel, which changed hands in July last year.

The hotels rooms have been upgraded and the casino carpet replaced, said Kennedy.

The casino has live music now, including Jackie Dauzat and local bands such as Lady and the Tramps, Escalade and Big Red, Thursday through Saturday and is adding Wednesday to that schedule this summer.

The casino is about to add 53 new slots and plans to extend its pit hours, too.

“We’re expanding on the success we’ve had over the last eight months,” said Kennedy. “With Black Bear coming in, we’re expecting a lot more people through the casino.”


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