Thrusters Lounge: where sports and the surf meet
by Mariko Lamb
Published - 11/07/12 - 03:28 PM | 12790 views | 0 0 comments | 20 20 recommendations | email to a friend | print
With a dozen high-definition plasma screen TVs scattered throughout the intimate bar at Thrusters Lounge, “There’s no bad seat in the house,” said manager Dave Paluska. Courtesy photo
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Just off Pacific Beach’s main drag and a stone’s throw from the sand, a lively game-day experience at an unpretentious locals’ watering hole awaits. Thrusters Lounge — a place where surfers, avid sports fans and edgy industry folk converge over a mutual love for quality, affordable drinks, endless entertainment and a comfortable, laid-back atmosphere —has been a tried-and-true neighborhood staple for 14 successful years.

“It’s an honor to have such deep roots in the Pacific Beach community. At Thrusters Lounge, we strive for authenticity, not perfection,” said owner Nick Zanoni. “Over the years, we have made improvements to the design, menu and décor — none of which can be considered as drastic overhauls. Thrusters follows a pretty simple formula and seeks to offer a comfortable constant that people can rely on.”

Patrons can expect this every time they walk through Thrusters’ doors — one of the many reasons it has become a locals’ go-to for game day.

“Unlike most of the bigger venues, it’s not as loud and crazy at Thrusters, so you can actually enjoy the game,” said manager Dave Paluska.

And with a dozen high-definition plasma screen TVs scattered throughout the intimate venue, there’s not a bad seat in the house, whether it be saddled up at the bar or kicking back in one of the oversize booths.

No matter where the seat, sports fans of all affiliations will find comfort in the welcoming vibe that emanates from the staff and fellow patrons on any given day.

Although Thrusters is open to fans of all teams, expect to see a wave of Seahawk blues with a hint of electric green lighting up the bar on football Sundays.

“We are the go-to place to watch the Seattle Seahawks,” said Paluska. “Years ago, we hired a new bartender who had recently relocated from Seattle. He quickly became one of our most popular bartenders, and it just [grew] from there.”

Seahawks fan or not, a true game-day experience at Thrusters is not complete without one of the bar’s refreshing craft brews in one hand and a juicy grass-fed organic beef or bird slider from Mad Dogs Cafe (across the street) in the other.

“You can’t go wrong with our tater tots paired with a side of Mad Dogs sauce,” said Paluska. “We’ve also got an awesome selection of craft bottled beers. During game season, we carry a variety of craft brews from the Pacific Northwest like the Black Butte Porter from Deschutes Brewery.”

During the games, Thrusters also offers specials on $2 bloody Marys and mimosas, a new beef and bird sliders menu and an Oregon State University Mug Club special for OSU Beavers fans and alumni.

This season, as a “thank you” to its dedicated fan base, Thrusters is holding a contest for one lucky fan to win a custom Seahawks beach cruiser. Individual raffle tickets are on sale at the bar for $2, or for each bar tab over $30, the patron will receive one ticket for every $10 spent during the Seahawks games. The winner of the beach cruiser will be announced Dec. 30, the final game of the regular season.

“Whether you’re a Seattle fan, a Charger fan or aren’t even rooting for a specific team, everyone comes to Thrusters to have a good time and enjoy the game,” he said. “We’ve got a great, fun crowd on game days.”

Thrusters Lounge is located at

4633 Mission Blvd. and is open from

5 p.m. to 2 a.m. Mondays through Fridays and 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. For more information, call (858) 483-6334 or visit
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