A sculpture of a 12-foot dog, made of steel, slightly abstracted and painted bright yellow, stands outside Rancho Cucamonga’s new Bark at Central Park dog park. It’s got its detractors, both online and at the dog park, but some admirers too, including me. I round up opinion, speak to the artist and tell the tail, er, tale in my Sunday column.
Klatch Coffee started in Rancho Cucamonga 30 years ago (as Coffee Klatch — do you remember?). For its anniversary, I talk to the family behind the seven-shop chain to hear how they got started in 1993, before coffee was a thing and before people carried phones and laptops into coffeehouses with them. See what’s brewing (zing!) in my Wednesday column.
Hoyt’s Ace Hardware in Rancho Cucamonga will be closing next month. The family has sold the property and is having a sale the next few weeks. Opened by S.M. Hoyt in Ontario in 1926, Hoyt’s moved to Rancho in 1979 and was a survivor among mom-and-pop hardware stores in the age of big-box retailers. Read about it in my Friday column.
In the future, new service stations in Rancho Cucamonga will have to install at least one alternative fuel pump for every four gas pumps. That’s a new, forward-thinking rule adopted by the city. I tell you more in my Sunday column.
I’m one of those fans, and I ate during a preview event Sunday with a few others at Victoria Gardens. The NYC-based chain opened to the general public the next day. I write about my love for its food and why Rancho Cucamonga gets first-in-the-IE chains in my Wednesday column. (I feel like I’ve been preparing to write a pro-Shake Shack column my whole life…or at least since 2014, when I first ate at one.)
I attend a Rancho Cucamonga City Council meeting (my first since 2019) to see what the council would do with the vacant seat left by the death of Sam Spagnolo. (Spoiler alert: See headline.) Some fun or wacky stuff took place too, as tends to happen at council meetings. It’s the subject of my Friday column.
The 35-year firefighter and 18-year councilman in Rancho Cucamonga was mourned Thursday. I attended the funeral and mingled afterward, where I got a funny item. I also plug my Saturday book stop in Ontario and a Sunday event in Pomona, all in Friday’s column.
The class has produced directors of opera and ballet, plus a TV news meteorologist. Also, two Inland Empire spots for frozen custard are listed, the Dodger fan base around St. Louis is characterized as “annoyingly large,” a new angle to Rancho Cucamonga’s cityhood is offered, local references in the new movie “The Guilty” are cited, and a rap supergroup is headed to Ontario. All that is in my Wednesday column.
Friday’s column begins with an unexpected local angle to a national story and continues with a Pomona joke from a 1950s “Burns and Allen Show” episode, more about Inland Empire nonfiction books and a short item with a 909 slant from Alaska.
I revisit the topic of Cucamonga mentions in old cartoons by pivoting to Jack Benny, who probably did it first. A Riverside reader shares her interactions with the artist Magu. And I highlight what the mayor of LA once did for the IE. All that is in Wednesday’s column, as I begin a post-vacation catch-up.