Another “eatertainment” venue has landed in the Inland Empire.
Punch Bowl Social officially opens its first California location — and ninth overall — today (May 20) at Victoria Gardens in Rancho Cucamonga, in the space most recently occupied by Toby Keith’s I ♥ This Bar and Grill, 12635 N. Main St.
I recently had a tasting during the restaurant soft-opening and found it very…surprising.
First off, Punch Bowl Social’s menu doesn’t contain your typical bar food — no mozzarella sticks or nachos here.
Instead, you’ll find street tacos, a charcuterie and veggie plate (the “Farmer’s Board”) and Hugh’s (Hugh being celebrity chef Hugh Acheson) Pimiento Cheese.
Of course, if you’re looking for your typical bar food, they do have items which will scratch that itch, including chips and dip, chicken wings, oh, and poutine!
Elsewhere on the menu, there’s a selection of salads, burgers and other sandwiches, and some Southern-inspired dishes.
The menu is also very accommodating to restrictive diets. Many of the items are vegetarian (or can be made so) or gluten-free (or, as with the close-to-vegetarian dishes, can be made so).
I tasted the Superfood Grain Bowl, which might make even the staunchest carnivore turn veg.
I also tasted the OM*G GF Southern Fried Chicken, made with rice flour. It certainly lived up to its NSFW name, and you would never know it was gluten-free unless somebody told you. (Whoops…spoiler alert!)
The beverage menu also offers surprises.
The cocktails are fastidiously made with the freshest ingredients.
There’s also a selection of adult milkshakes (and some for all ages) and non-alcoholic cocktails for designated drivers and your kid sister.
And yes, they do have a selection of alcoholic punches served in punch bowls for sharing.
There are handmade sodas and fizzes — including a deliciously refreshing grapefruit soda — and juice blends.
The restaurant serves breakfast weekdays until 3 p.m.-ish daily, and has an expanded brunch menu on the weekend.
In addition to being a full-service restaurant and bar, the venue also boasts a host of entertainment options, including bowling, vintage arcade games, pinball, shuffleboard, darts, foosball, Skee-Ball and a pair of private karaoke suites.
The Denver-based chain is planning locations in San Diego and Sacramento.
After today, hours will be 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 2 a.m. Saturday and Sunday.
For more information, including a full menu, click here.