New restaurants open in Orem


Utah County’s dining options are expanding as the University Place development recently welcomed new restaurants that include Chipotle, Black Bear Diner and a brand new look for Starbucks Coffee.

The Orem Chipotle opened on Aug. 27 as the first Chipotle in Utah County. (Maddi Dayton)

The Orem Chipotle opened on Aug. 27 as the first Chipotle in Utah County. The Mexican grill’s goal is to offer a quality dining experience while staying away from the pitfalls of other fast food restaurants.

“We are trying to change the way people think of fast food,” said Felicia Paisano, general manager of the Orem Chipotle. “Our style is fast–casual.”

While the restaurant’s interior stays simple and resembles a fast food service, the restaurant chain proposes higher quality food. “Our mission is ‘food with integrity,'” Paisano said. “Everything is natural.”

Chipotle focuses on a fresh and organic menu. The menu, designed by Chipotle’s culinary manager Nate Appleman, includes burritos, tacos, salads and burrito bowls.

Across from Chipotle, “good ol’ fashioned family food” can be found at Black Bear Diner. Founded by Bruce Dean and Bob Manley about 20 years ago, Black Bear Diner has expanded from California to Orem, where it opened its 70th store on July 27.

Black Bear Diner opened in July, inviting customers to taste "Good 'Ol Fashioned Family Food." (Lorraine Chomel)
A display in Orem’s new Black Bear Diner. The diner opened in July, inviting customers to taste “Good Ol’ Fashioned Family Food.” (Lorraine Chomel)

With its carved bears and cabin-like feel, Black Bear Diner brings a woodsy and outdoor atmosphere to its customers.

The Black Bear Diner menu is based on original recipes and focuses on home-cooked food.

“Ninety percent of everything on the plate is made here,” said Chris Nelson, general manager of the Orem location.

The menu includes items such as slow-cooked pot roast, chicken Parmesan, ribs, fresh salads and its best seller, “Bob’s Big Bear Burger,” a 10.6-ounce burger served with a pile of fries.

From breakfast food to dinner, Black Bear Diner satisfies customers with generous portions.

“Our service is usually above any diners or restaurants you would go to,” Nelson said. “Our guests are number one and our value is on our plate.”

Black Bear Diner uses only local companies and distributors and believes in being part of the community to create “a great neighborly feeling,” Nelson said.

While there are no student deals at the moment, the Orem Black Bear Diner plans on building relationships and partnerships with both BYU and UVU communities.

Black Bear Diner lovers can also expect the restaurant to open locations in Draper and American Fork soon, to go along with the five currently operating in Utah.

The Starbucks next to the University Mall also moved across the parking lot from the old location. The new store, located next to Chipotle, opened over the summer and includes a drive-thru. BYU students can still find many options to eat and drink without having to consume coffee or tea.

“Safe” products include chocolate drinks, fruit drinks and bakery goods. For a more detailed list of non caffeinated products, students can look up’s “The Mormon guide to Starbucks.”

Joseph Smith, a 19-year-old Starbucks employee from Orem, said BYU students have many options to choose from at Starbucks. Such options include smoothies and frappucinos, which can be ordered without caffeine in them. Starbucks also offers various syrup flavors such as caramel and hazelnut, served with steamed milk, as well as non-caffeinated herbal tea.

“Many students order the non-caffeinated frappucino and the caramel apple spice,” Smith said, “which is steamed apple juice with cinnamon syrup, whipped cream and some caramel.”

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