Johnny Bear’s Restaurant (formerly Beachy’s Drive-In) in Darien Center opened in July, 2011. The restaurant features fresh hand-made burgers, fresh cut French fries, sandwiches, subs, wings, and ice cream treats. Breakfast is also served on Saturdays and Sundays starting at 7:00 am.
The property was purchased in June 2011 with modifications and improvements made to freshen the overall appearance of the restaurant.The owner, John Phillips, has lived in the Western New York area for most of his life. With over 30 years of experience in the food service industry, you might say that running a restaurant is “in his blood”. As a child, he would go to Beachy’s with his family and has very good memories. His goal is to take the restaurant back to its roots of good food at reasonable prices in a clean, fun, family-friendly atmosphere.
When the restaurant first opened, a simple menu of burgers, hot dogs, fries and ice cream was offered featuring local favorites such as Perry’s ice cream, Sahlen’s hot dogs, Costanzo’s rolls, and Mineo & Sapio sausage. Since the opening, the menu has been expanded in response to customer requests. Beef on ‘weck, grilled chicken sandwiches, subs, salads, chicken wings, and soup/chili have all been added. In addition, breakfast is now served on Saturdays and Sundays because of requests from customers.
Although the restaurant has a long history of being seasonal (open from May until September) Johnny Bear’s will be open all year. The hours of operation are currently 11:00 am to 8:00 pm Monday – Friday and 7:00 am – 8:00 pm Saturday and Sunday.
John is very excited about the future of the restaurant. He enjoys meeting new people, getting to know his customers and “regulars”. He appreciates the support and encouragement he has received from the surrounding communities and looks forward to the opportunity serve "his" customers for many years to come.
What's in a name?
You may be wondering the restaurant got the name "Johnny Bear's". Many years ago the owner, John, was given this nickname by his young nephew. The Disney movie The Jungle Book had just been re-released, and Uncle John reminded him of the lovable bear Baloo in the film. Instead of "Uncle John" he became known as "Uncle Johnny Bear". This was later shortened to "Johnny Bear" or just "The Bear".