The Teddy Bear Restaurant has a long history in Big Bear. We were established in 1944. The original location was about 100 yards up the street. A couple of years later a new building was built at the present location. The front, kitchen and bathroom were all original construction. The building was built to house a second story. Obviously that was never done, but it did make for a an extra strong foundation.
Rumor has it that during construction an unknown lady arrived on the scene with a nickel. She walked around and prayed for the business. Then she left the coin in one of the pillars. Now we can't confirm the story, but Jesus is definitely the best foundation you can have.
The Teddy Bear has been successful for 63 years and counting. Statistics indicate that only 4.4% of all businesses have lasted 50 years or more.
There have been considerable changes since the original building was built, both in ownership as well as structural.
The original owners were Eddie and Wilma Wingard. In 1973 they sold the restaurant to my parents, Gerald and Gladys Schweitzer. My wife and I purchused the business in 1991.
My parents added the front entry in the 70's and back dining room in 1983. We added the deck in 1994. Due to ever increasing regulations, it looks like this will be all of the expansion wer are going to undertake.
The Teddy Bear specializes in homestyle cooking. We make all of our own pies from scratch on the premises.
Customers have been known to drive up the hill just for a piece of pie. My mom Gladys has been making our pies since 1971. She continues to oversee the pie making, but has some much deserved help.
Our soups, chili and machaca are all original Teddy Bear recipies. We make our own mashed potatoes, and BBQ sauce. We serve old fashioned shakes and malts. We've added a number of items over the years. One of our latest is our homemade chicken and turkey pot pies made from scratch and baked fresh daily. You might have noticed that some of our items have a name attached. Some of our regular customers have come up with their own personal meals. (We'll try to make just about anything you want if we have the right ingredients). Some of their orders were so good we decided to add them to the menu. Thank you for checking us out. We hope to see you soon!