Comings, goings in Rancho Cucamonga

With all the restaurants coming and going in Rancho Cucamonga, it’s hard to keep track. Good
thing it’s not just “going,” there are businesses coming, too.

First the sad news. Joey’s BBQ on Foothill Boulevard closed last week. Its Upland, Pomona and Chino locations are unaffected. Robin’s Dono, a Japanese restaurant on Fourth Street across from Ontario Mills, has also closed.

Here’s some good news. Alberto’s
will take over Joey’s BBQ spot. Alberto’s is a chain of taquerias with
more than 40 locations in Southern California. Cuban restaurant Flamingo Palms
is leaving its tiny Archibald Avenue location and moving to the more
prominent Fourth Street, in a space where Camille’s used to be. Flamingo
Palms will be on Archibald for another month. It was mentioned in this space recently that Handel’s, the
popular ice-cream joint in Upland, is opening another shop on Haven
Avenue at the Vons center near the 210 Freeway. Handel’s is expected to
open mid-February or March. Finally Felipe’s on Archibald and Foothill has closed. Stevie Dee’s Diner is expected to take over.

Am I missing anything? 

The other story — F&E openings

Today’s article on Fresh and Easy lists the 12 stores that will close temporarily.

Here is a list of the Tesco-owned markets that are opening. None are in the Inland Empire.

Frank Perez/

* Hermosa Beach opening today
  Mountain View opening today
  Brentwood opening today
* Burbank opening Jan. 18
  Santee opening Jan. 18
* Laguna Niguel opening Feb. 1
  San Francisco opening Feb. 1
  Torrance opening Feb. 8
  San Luis Obispo opening Feb. 8
  Granada Hills opening Feb. 8
* Los Angeles (Figueroa Street and Jefferson Boulevard) opening Feb. 15

* denotes smaller, “Express” stores

Fresh & Easy to close Hemet, Ontario stores

Nearly five years after Fresh and Easy Neighborhood Market first opened in the U.S., the British-owned grocer is temporarily closing 12 stores.

The Hemet and south Ontario stores are among 12 under-performing markets scheduled to temporarily close in coming weeks. The company hopes to reopen when economic conditions improve. Seven stores in California — Ontario, Hemet, Anaheim, Fountain Valley, Bakersfield, Baldwin Park and Fresno — are scheduled to shutter. One in Las Vegas and four in Phoenix are also expected to close.

Owned by British retail giant Tesco, Fresh and Easy entered the U.S. market in 2007, when traditional supermarkets were struggling and laying off workers.

Changes to Ra Pour menu

Ra Pour’s prix fixe menu,
mentioned in this space last week, has changed. The Christmas Eve
dinner is $49, not $39. The New Year’s Eve dinner remains $49. There are
three seatings for the New Year’s Eve menu — 5 to 7 p.m., 7 to 9 p.m.
and after 9:30 p.m. The dinner after 9:30 p.m. will be $74, which
includes champagne toast.

Information: 909-899-7999

VG restaurant offers holiday prix fixe

The city’s newest restaurant, Ra Pour,
serves up dishes created by executive chef Greg Stillman, formerly of
Los Angeles’ famed Patina. For Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve, the
Victoria Gardens restaurant will offer Stillman’s prix fixe menus for

Christmas Eve menu
Peppermint eggnog shooter
Choice of: Apple and parsnip soup, Hiramasa crudo
Choice of: Honey-roasted ham, roasted beef prime rib
Loup de mer
Choice of: Warm persimmon cake, chocolate ganache, sticky toffee pudding

New Year’s Eve menu
Beet spheres with lemon ice
Choice of: Chestnut agnolotti, Bigeye tuna
Choice of: Bacon-crusted Loch Duart salmon, Roasted hand-carved New York strip steak
Choice of: Satsuma mandarin sorbet, chocolate fondant

Information: 909-899-7999

Update: There will be three seatings on New Year’s Eve: 5 to 7 p.m., 7 to 9
p.m., and 9:30 p.m. to New Year (Ra Pour closes at 2 a.m.). The “New
Year” seating will include a champagne toast and is will cost $74.

Lazy Dog to open in R.C.


Lazy Dog Cafe will open its newest location on
Fourth Street in Rancho Cucamonga early next year. Shown here
is the Temecula restaurant.

of Lazy Dog Cafe

Lazy Dog Cafe,
a chain of Southern California restaurants, is opening its 10th
location on Fourth Street between Richmond Place and Buffalo Avenue in Rancho Cucamonga.
Construction of the restaurant is expected to be complete in March or

The Planning Commission last night gave the green light on
the cafe, which will have a bar and outdoor dining space. Moni Dosanjh
of RSI Group, which represents the restaurant, told the commission the
menu includes everything from meat loaf to calamari to kung pao chicken.

like the look and feel of the restaurant. It has that kind of craftsman
bungalow look that fits very well with Fourth Street,” said commission
Chairman Lou Munoz. “I’m partial to Not Your Mom’s Meatloaf. It sounded
pretty mouth-watering.”

Not Your Mom’s Meatloaf was among the
more standard items on the menu. Lazy Dog also dishes up some unique
items such as spicy fried chicken lollipops and sweet potato tater tots.

9,400-square-foot restaurant will be built on an empty parcel near
where the Mel’s Drive-in used to be. Dosanjh said this is the first time
the restaurant is building from the ground up, as opposed to moving
into an existing space.

“We’re looking forward to go under construction,” he said. “This building will be our prototype.”

Tomorrow, the restaurant is expected to wrap up construction of its West Covina restaurant.

Goodbye macaroni, hello pig trough?

Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlour (remember Farrell’s?) wants to open in the Terra Vista Town Center in Rancho Cucamonga where Macaroni Grill used to be.
Next Tuesday, representatives from the ice cream parlor will talk to
the Design Review Committee at 7 p.m. about the changes they want to
bring to the building.

Once upon a time, there was a Farrell’s
in Montclair Plaza. Actually, once upon a time, there were Farrell’s
all over Southern California in the 1970s and 80s. But after being sold
to an investment group in 1985, according to Farrell’s website, the
restaurant faltered and nearly all of its 130 locations closed by 1990.

there are two locations — Mission Viejo and Santa Clarita — offering
shakes, sundaes and the famed pig trough. At $11.99, the pig trough is
two orders of the banana split sundae served on a, you guessed it, pig

Farrell’s wants to come to Foothill Boulevard but it
wants to keep its flashy designs and bold colors. The Terra Vista
development boasts Spanish Revival architecture using mild earth tones.

Does Farrell’s belong there? The Design Review Committee,
consisting of two planning commissioners and two Planning Department
staff members, will decide.   

Five Guys on way to Rancho

Five Guys Burgers, the east coast fast food chain that got lots of attention after the president paid a visit, is opening in Rancho Cucamonga. Thanks to reader Jonathan Cummings for the news tip.

The burger joint, known for its long list of toppings, will be on 7945 Haven Ave. near Foothill. It’s opening in March.

When it opens, you can get a burger then go down Foothill to Vineyard for another burger at In-N-Out. Then decide for yourself if you agree with the results of this Zagat survey, which puts Five Guys as the best fast food burger.

Update: Andrew Edwards has written a story on the chain’s expansion plans. You can read it here.

Taco joint finds new hut

I was bummed when Rancho Cucamonga’s Taco Hut (Foothill between Archibald and Hellman) nearly burnt down in September. There are many other Mexican eateries
in the Rancho Cucamonga/Ontario area and some just as tasty but Taco
Hut is the only place I know where they play Madonna’s “Like a Virgin”
for first-time customers and the only place that serves fish tacos so
big, I feel like a glutton for eating two.

Taco Hut closed after major fire and smoke damage. They’re in the process of remodeling.

in the meantime, they’ve opened a new location at the site of El Loco
Cantina on 11815 Foothill Boulevard. Their Ontario location is on 1150
E. Philadelphia Street

In a cheesy mood?

The Cheese Cave, which opened this summer in the Claremont Village, is featured in the October issue of Los Angeles Magazine. But you’ll find a longer article here, which is in today’s Daily Bulletin.

This cheese shop features 125 varieties of cheese and other food items that go with cheese (Dale Bros. beer, nicoise olives, fig crackers, etc.) Their sandwich menu changes everyday and can be viewed on their Facebook page. Want some caffeine with that cheese? They serve cold brew, which is Mexican coca-cola with coffee ice cubes.

Hit them up for some samples at 325 Yale Ave. They’re across from Walter’s.