The Mug Shakes lands in Rancho Cucamonga

The Mug Shakes GrasshopperThe Mug Shakes, a new dessert shop in the Victoria Gardens Food Hall, had a very successful soft opening over the weekend.

The shop experienced long lines of customers — perhaps due to the tantalizing pictures of its products (like the one on the right) that garnered thousands of reactions on Facebook — and ended up having to close early due to sell-outs.

The location, which specializes in designer shakes, has been closed for a few days to regroup, hire some more employees and will reopen at 10 a.m. on Thursday (May 5).

The Mug Shakes is at 12434 N Main Street, Rancho Cucamonga. For updates, “Like” ’em on Facebook.

The Melt opens today in Rancho Cucamonga

The Melt Victoria GardensToday’s (November 5) the day!

The Melt’s 17th location opens today at Victoria Gardens in Rancho Cucamonga. It’s the chain’s first Inland Empire location.

We’ve been eagerly anticipating its opening since we discovered it back in June.

The restaurant’s menu selections — burgers, grilled cheese sandwiches, chicken sandwiches, salads and more — contain no artificial flavors, artificial colors, artificial sweeteners, artificial preservatives, artificial flavors or hydrogenated fats.

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Rancho Cucamonga VFW Car and Motorcycle Show and Chili Cook-Off is today

Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 8680’s Car/Motorcycle Show and Chili Cook-off is going on until 4 p.m. today (September 27) at the post, 8751 Industrial Lane, Rancho Cucamonga.

Yours truly is one of the “local celebrities” that will be judging the chili cook-off. The judging is set to begin around 2 p.m.

Please feel free to come down and help support a worthy cause.

Rancho Cucamonga Toby Keith’s I This Bar & Grill is closed

Longtime reader Carl tipped us off Monday night that the Victoria Gardens Toby Keith’s I This Bar & Grill has closed.

It’s just the latest of a string of closures for the chain, but whatever happened, happened pretty quickly: Yelp reviews indicate the restaurant was open Sunday night and the restaurant’s Twitter page posted a link early Monday morning to its now-nonexistent Facebook page.

A Love and Theft concert slated to take place at the venue on September 24 has been cancelled.

Several of the chain’s locations across the country have closed in the last year or so, including a Phoenix restaurant that opened earlier this year.

In August, workers in Cincinnati sued the chain for non-payment of wages and concealing the restaurant’s shutdown in July of this year. That location also had several legal issues.

Other recently shuttered locations include Oxnard, Folsom, Syracuse, N.Y., Newport News, Va., Tucson, Ariz., Orlando, Fla., Woodbridge, Va., Orange Beach, Ala., St. Louis Park, Minn., and Houston. A Rosemont, Ill. location is facing an eviction trial in October.

The restaurants are operated by Phoenix-based Boomtown Entertainment.

I This Bar & Grill? Well…maybe not so much.

The Rancho Cucamonga location, which opened in April 2012, was at 12635 North Main St.

Free Wetzel’s Pretzels Pizza Bitz at three Inland Empire locations on Thursday

Pizza BitzThe people have spoken.

And the people of the Inland Empire have spoken very loudly.

Last month, Wetzel’s Pretzels asked its Facebook fans which stores should have the chain’s new Pizza Bitz — bite-size snacks made with pretzel dough, topped with cheese and pepperoni — before the rest of America.

The people of the Inland Empire responded in full force: Half of the six stores chosen are here!

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Victoria Gardens McDonalds’s celebrating grand opening today

Victoria Gardens McDonald'sThe new McDonald’s at Victoria Gardens in Rancho Cucamonga will celebrate its grand opening from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. today (August 27).

The event will feature free small iced or hot coffee and snack-size Oreo McFlurrys from 4 to 7 p.m. There will also be a $1 Egg McMuffin vs. $1 Big Mac challenge, with proceeds supporting the Loma Linda Ronald McDonald House.

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Help Brio Tuscan Grille celebrate its Sweet 16

Brio Sweet 16Brio Tuscan Grille — which has a location in Rancho Cucamonga’s Victoria Gardens — is hosting a Cheers to 16 Years celebration, which runs through August 16.

The event includes two limited-edition menu items, a “Pretty in Pink” Birthday Martini and a Raspberry Ricotta Cake.

Members of the chain’s loyalty program will save $16 when they spend $50.

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Half-price lasagna at Brio Tuscan Grille on Tuesday

Brio Lasagna Day 2015Who doesn’t love lasagna? It’s got everything: Pasta, cheese, meat, sauce, all conveniently arranged in delicious layers.

It’s really a meal in itself.

Tuesday (July 28)  is National Lasagna Day and in celebration of that fact, the fine folks at Brio Tuscan Grille — whose Rancho Cucamonga location is one of just two in California — is offering full orders of their delicious lasagna for half price.

All day, while supplies last.

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Farrell’s Ice Cream Challenge is back

Farrell's Ice Cream Eating Challenge 2015Do you love ice cream?

Do you really love ice cream?

If you do, and you think you’ve got what it takes, good news: Qualifications have begun for Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlour Restaurant’s sixth annual Splendiferously Superific Summer Spectacular Ice Cream Eating Challenge.

Whew…that’s a challenge just reading that.

To qualify, visit any Farrell’s between now and July 12 and pay a $20 entry fee. You’ll receive a limited-edition T-shirt, a $5 coupon for your next visit and a three-scoop sundae.

Then, wolf down that sundae as fast as you can.

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Blaze Pizza giving away pizzas at its new Victoria Gardens location Friday

Blaze PizzaBlaze Pizza has arrived in Rancho Cucamonga’s Victoria Gardens and — as is tradition with the “fast fire’d” chain — it’s celebrating with a giveaway.

The pizzeria opens Thursday (June 11) and is giving away a free pizza on Friday (June 12) to followers of its social media feeds on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook. And, no, you won’t get three free pizzas for following on all three.

The giveaway takes place from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. at the new location, 7833 Monet Ave.

Blaze also has locations in Riverside and Cabazon, and is opening soon in Eastvale.