Shakey’s Pizza, 12455 Victoria Garden Lane (at Monet), Rancho Cucamonga.
While it’s rare that I write about a chain restaurant, I have a soft spot from childhood for Shakey’s, and the new location at Victoria Gardens, which opened in December 2009, was mentioned in our paper recently for its “green” features. It has bamboo flooring, recycles its oil for biofuel and has 100 percent recycled napkins. Oh, and they serve pizza, too.
The ragtime music, straw boaters and picnic seating are long gone, I’m afraid, but this Shakey’s still does a lunch buffet ($6.99) plus soda ($1.99) from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. weekdays, with chicken, “Mojo” potatoes and plenty of pizza. At the peak of lunch they had 10 pizzas on the buffet. Shakey’s is my favorite corporate pizza. I like the crispy crust. The buffet also has salad, as well as a watery pasta that should be avoided.
This Shakey’s has a bar with 12 beers on tap, including Sierra Nevada, Newcastle and Blue Moon. I sat at the bar because it’s the best seating for a solo buffet diner, read a Jack Smith book and sipped a Pepsi. The bar is said to be a twist on the “Ye Olde Public House” identity of the chain and an appeal to adults, not just families and youth sports teams.
The restaurant also plays up its own kitsch to good effect with vintage advertisements and signs from the chain’s glory days.
“Ye Olde Notice,” one reads. “Take advantage of Shakey’s generosity…Persons over 90 accompanied by parents receive free pizza.”