Ontario Big Al’s opens Thursday


It’s almost here!

The long-anticipated (well…by us, anyway) Big Al’s opens its first California location in Ontario at 9 a.m. Thursday (March 16), in a former Best Buy at 4120 E. Fourth St.

The small but widespread chain also has one location each in Oregon, Washington and Idaho.

Big Al’s menu has lots to offer: A decent selection of burgers, salads, sandwiches and pizzas dominate the menu, but there’s also a huge assortment of appetizers to share and entrées to enjoy by yourself.

Among the more interesting offerings:

  • Mac & Jack Bites: Beer-battered macaroni and cheese, served with fries or tots, and ranch dressing for dipping.
  • Pork Belly Skewers: Six pork belly skewers, with a Jack Daniels glaze and sprinkled with green onions. Served with jalapeño corn bread.
  • Notorious P.I.G. Burrito: Crispy pork belly, hickory bacon-sausage, bacon, macaroni and cheese, and barbecue sauce, all wrapped in a flour tortilla.
  • Peanut Butter Bacon Burger: Northwest beef topped with American cheese, bacon, peanut butter, pickle chips, tomato and mayonnaise.
  • Near Death Burger: Northwest beef topped with lime cream cheese, crispy fried jalapeños, lettuce, tomato and “Near Death” sauce. Obviously not for the faint of heart.
  • Crazy Al Burger: Northwest beef topped with American cheese, bacon, Canadian bacon, a fried egg, an onion ring, fries, house slaw, burger sauce, lettuce and tomato.

I’m guessing you’ll have to unhinge your jaw to be able to eat that Crazy Al Burger.

Beer selection is pretty decent, too, with a good choice of India Pale Ales on tap from Hangar 24, Elysian, Stone, Lagunitas, 10 Barrel, Golden Road, Ninkasi and Ballast Point. There’s a good mix of other brews, including Hangar 24’s Orange Wheat, AleSmith’s Speedway Stout and Golden Road’s Get Up Offa That Brown Ale.

There will be three rotating local taps to keep things interesting.

Big Al’s also offers a selection of ciders on tap and wines, as well as a full bar, if you’re not into beer.

Big Al’s has plenty to keep you occupied before or after your meal with a bowling alley with 20 lanes, an arcade, table games like pool and shuffleboard, as well as a stadium-style sports bar with a 55-foot screen, big enough to show three games at the same time.

The eatery offers a half off happy hour from 2 to 6 p.m. weekdays, with half-price appetizers when you buy a drink (it is happy hour, after all) and half-off liquor, along with other specials, such as $3.50 craft pints, $3 domestic pints and $20 cocktail pitchers.

The liquor specials are also available during a late-night happy hour after 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday and after 9 p.m. the rest of the week.

Big Al’s is open 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. Friday and 10 a.m. to 1 a.m. Saturday.

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