Longtime El Paso Restaurant Iron Skillet Closes, California Comfort Food Diner Black Bear Moving In
After 47 years of serving up home style breakfast, burgers, and its famous chicken fried steak, the Iron Skillet in the Petro Travel Center on Horizon Blvd has closed its doors.
In its place, a diner concept out of California known as Black Bear Diner will be bringing its home style comfort food that includes breakfast, burgers, and chicken fried steak to the renovated space.
R.I.P Iron Skillet
Petro and the Iron Skillet were born in El Paso in 1975. At the time it was the first self-service truck stop in the United States. It soon expanded nationwide and was acquired from El Paso businessman Jack Cardwell by TravelCenters in May 2007.
There’s no word on why Iron Skillet was ditched, but I suspect after almost five decades the company was looking for a refresh.
Black Bear Diner
Like Californians themselves, the Cali-based diner is moving into the Lone Star state
The El Paso location is one of six planned new locations in Texas by the end of 2023. Once all the new restaurants are fully operational, Texas will have the most Black Bear Diner locations outside of California, according to a corporate news release.
The Black Bear dining concept is a family-friendly restaurant “in a bear-themed atmosphere.”
The breakfast menu consists of a pancakes, waffles platters, omelettes, and “scrambowls,” and egg combos. Lunch and dinner include burgers, salads, and what it refers to as homestyle comfort food classics like homemade meatloaf, slow-cooked pot roast, and chicken fried steak.
When Does it Open?
While the banner hanging outside only says “coming soon,” filings with the state shows the conversion of the existing space will begin in September and cost an estimated $600,000. The expected completion date is January, 2023.