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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Where the new Inland Empire Aldi and Grocery Outlets will be

After losing most of our fresh & easy stores here in the Inland Empire, we’re glad to see another couple of discount grocery stores expanding into the area.

Both Aldi, which is related to Trader Joe’s, and Grocery Outlet have announced plans to expand into Southern California.

But will there be a store near you?

We’ve got a list of forthcoming locations here in the Inland Empire.

Take a peek over the jump to see if one will land in your neighborhood.

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Ontario Hamburger Mary’s hosting ribbon-cutting event today

Hamburger Mary's Ontario Grand OpeningThe newly-opened Hamburger Mary’s in Ontario will kick off its grand opening celebration with a ribbon-cutting ceremony today (September 10).

The ribbon-cutting begins at 5 p.m., with a live band performing from 6 to 8 p.m.

A special drag show — featuring Chad Michaels and Delta Work from RuPaul’s Drag Race, along with Mayhem Miller and Dolly Levi — begins at 8 p.m.

The grand opening celebration continues at 5 p.m. Saturday (September 12).

Hamburger Mary’s is at 3550 E. Porsche Way.

For updates, “Like” the restaurant’s Facebook page.

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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Hamburger Mary’s opens in Ontario

Hamburger Mary's OntarioGay-friendly restaurant and bar Hamburger Mary’s opened Tuesday (August 11) at 3550 E. Porsche Way in Ontario.

The first drag show brunch at the new location will take place August 30.

A grand opening is set for September 12.

Current hours are 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday.

The restaurant is also bringing Legendary Bingo to this location on Monday nights.

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San Bernardino Jimmy John’s set to open Tuesday

Jimmy John's San BernardinoWe’ve known about the San Bernardino Jimmy John’s since we spotted it in mid-May, and initially was told it was set to open in the first part of June.

Well, it turns out that timeline was a little optimistic.

The eatery, 1060 Harriman Place, Suite C5, is now set to open on Tuesday (July 21).

The franchise owners have another location in the works.

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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.

San Bernardino Elephant Bar to be reborn as Jiro’s Japanese Restaurant

Jiro's Japanese RestaurantWe’ve been watching construction going on at the former Elephant Bar at 1050 E. Harriman Place in San Bernardino and had figured out it was going to be Jiro’s Japanese Restaurant, but then San Bernardino Sun reporter Ryan Hagen came along and filled in the blanks for us.

The new restaurant is expected to open in May.

We’re thinking it should do well, since there hasn’t been a Japanese restaurant in the Hospitality Lane area since Yamazato of Japan closed in December 2008.

And, no, we’re not counting Seattle’s Best Teriyaki.

Read Ryan’s article here.

Golden Corral coming to San Bernardino

Circus Vargas and the giant pumpkin patch/Christmas tree lot are going to have to find a new home.

That’s because a Golden Corral is planned for the southeast corner of Waterman Avenue and Hospitality Lane in San Bernardino — right where those temporary businesses are usually located.

It’ll be the fifth Southern California location for the buffet chain, following Hesperia, Industry, El Centro and a planned Bellflower restaurant.

No opening date has been set.

Brätworks celebrating grand opening tomorrow with buy-one-get-one-free deal

Bratworks Grand OpeningAlthough San Bernardino’s Brätworks has been open several months now, the gourmet hot dog shop is celebrating (or is that cele-brät-ing?) its grand opening tomorrow (February 7).

From 10 a.m.-midnight, guests will be able to take advantage of a buy one, get one free deal on all the restaurant’s “classic works” hot dogs.

In addition, there will be prizes and giveaways from 10 a.m.-noon, a DJ and face painting from noon-4 p.m., free grilled cheese for kids from 4-7 p.m. and half-price beer from 7 p.m.-midnight.

Brätworks is at 4235 N. University Parkway, Suite 102.