History of Three Bear Restaurant
The Three Bear Restaurant has a history almost as rich as the lodge itself.
The restaurant began life as the Teepee Bar and Café. There was a bar in the front with fireplace and a back bar where the salad bar now stands. The rear portion hosted a dance floor, and the green side was the cafe.
The Teepee was known as a lively bar and a place where you could dance. Also there were in fact, “Ladies of the evening”, however no-one knew for sure if one of them was a man dressed like a woman or a real floozy.
Bill Howell and Clyde Seely bought the Teepee in 1978 Bill bought the bar license and together they continued to run it as is for a few years before converting the café to a Chinese Café. This didn’t work so the café was leased out to a person who put in an entertainment center.
Eventually, Bill sold his share of the café to Clyde, who put a complete new roof on first and gutted the entire building to the studs. This was done because the original Three Bear Restaurant that would only seat 75 people. Expansion was required and we can now seat over 150 in the Restaurant and about 40 in the Lounge.
The rebuilding of the interior was a major logistical project. The beams were logged next to the South Fork, 5 miles East, then hauled them to Rightenour’s old saw mill – 8 miles north where they were milled. Taking a tip from the inside of the Old Faithful Inn, the logs were cut in half so they looked like they were full logs but got twice the coverage. Permission was gained from the city to cover and build a board sidewalk. All of the logs were hand peeled and the restaurant and lounge were enlarged to their current size and location.
The Historical photos adorning the walls were gathered from around town and from the archives in Mammoth.
The rebuild was completed in record time. Logging began in the summer, demolition began after and Labor Day and the new building was opened on Dec. 20, 1984.
The Grizzly Lounge
Adjoining the restaurant is the Grizzly Lounge.
The lounge takes you back in time with its memorabilia and photos depicting Yellowstone National Park’s history. Enjoy the comfortable atmosphere while you sip your favorite cocktail or bite into a tasty appetizer before dinner at the Three Bear Restaurant. Or come in and relax while watching our big screen TV. You may even want to try your luck at our video gaming machines. In any case, know that you’ll feel right at home as we serve you during your Yellowstone vacation.
The Lounge stocks a good range of Domestic and imported Beers, Wines & Spirits and is open from 4:00 PM to 10:00 PM daily.