Guava Beach: an island paradise for football Sunday
by Mariko Lamb
Oct 10, 2012 | 6503 views | 1 1 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Minnesota Vikings fans cheer on their favorite team at their neighborhood watering hole at Guava Beach.                                                                                                     Courtesy photo
Minnesota Vikings fans cheer on their favorite team at their neighborhood watering hole at Guava Beach. Courtesy photo
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Nestled between Belmont Park and Pacific Beach sits an unpretentious “locals bar” that knows how to make some noise on football Sundays. Guava Beach — home of Minnesota Vikings, Denver Broncos and San Diego Chargers fans — is always buzzing with activity. Whether from the fans cheering on their favorite teams or from players competing in a game of giant Jenga, one thing is for sure – the folks at Guava Beach know how to have a good time.

Catering to fans from a trio of distinct — sometimes competing — teams makes for quite a colorful atmosphere, with fans of all affiliations donning their respective team’s colors in the hopes of catching their game on Guava Beach’s 10-foot projection screen mounted in front of a comfy leather couch — undoubtedly the best seats in the house. Although satisfying the wealth of fans can sometimes be a challenge, Guava Beach’s owners and staff have a fair system of keeping everyone happy by, quite literally, pandering to the masses.

“We’ve been doing this for years now,” said Guava Beach owner Eric Christiansen. “Everyone knows that come kickoff, whoever has the most fans in their team’s color gets the big screen and the volume, and the rest of the TVs get put on the other games.”

A 10-person VIP area and elevated pool table lounge can also accommodate smaller groups of fans in a more intimate setting, and a dozen other plasma-screen TVs scattered around the bar help indulge any last minute stragglers.

Christiansen, a diehard Vikings fan, described the game-day atmosphere as one that can be both “electrifying and emotional.”

“It depends on the game,” he said. “If you’re getting your butt kicked, it’s going to be a little more subdued. For example, three years ago when Brett Favre came back and started playing for the Vikings, it was electric. When we made it to the championship game and lost, people were crying — guys and girls both.”

On the flipside, a win or touchdown can result in a festive atmosphere of cheering crowds, sometimes imbibing in a round of specially priced, team-colored shots to celebrate the feat.

Also on special for game days are $12 pitchers of Coors Light and Miller Light, $12 pitchers of champagne with guava or orange juice, $2.50 bottles of Miller High Life and $14 pitchers of Guava Beach’s signature Bionic Beaver, a brightly-colored “Mind Eraser”-style specialty cocktail that is meant to be shared.

Popular game day feasts include the one-pound jumbo Guava Wings, half-pound hand-packed burgers cooked to order, Mucho Nachos piled high with cheeses, beans and salsa, and the Baja-style made-to-order tacos. Chef Michelle “Shelly” Velez also cooks up a mean Sunday morning breakfast from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. for those who come early to catch the games.

In addition to the refreshing libations and delicious fare to keep your taste buds entertained throughout the game, Guava Beach is certainly not short on activities to keep patrons’ hands occupied during halftime either. With two dartboards, three giant Jenga sets, a pool table and a dozen other board games to play during commercial breaks, Guava Beach ensures there is something to keep everyone busy.

“We try to make it fun. We try not to be pretentious and just have a good time,” said Christiansen. “We’re a locals bar for everyone — a casual place at the beach, just a little off the beaten trail.”

For a rollicking good time in the company of other football-loving brethren, regardless whether they bleed purple, orange or blue, a trip to Guava Beach might uncover just what you’re looking for on game day at a good ol’ San Diego beach bar.

“We’ve got girls and guys, young and old, kids, everyone,” he said. “It’s just a rockin’ football crowd.”

Guava Beach is located at 3714 Mission Blvd. Free parking is available just around the corner in the public lot at Santa Clara Place. For more information, visit www.guavabeach.com or call (858) 488-6688.

KEY MATCHUP

The stakes will undoubtedly run high as San Diego-born-and-raised co-owner Ben Cseri’s Chargers take on Guava Beach manager Shawn Findley’s Denver Broncos for the next Monday Night Football game at 5:30 p.m. on Oct. 15.

Voted best happy hour on the beach by San Diego’s Mojo Awards for two years running, Guava Beach’s half-priced cocktails, shots, draft and bottled beer and house wine and 25 percent-off all appetizers are deals that are hard to beat. Happy hour is from 4 to 7 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays and 4 p.m. to close on Mondays, meaning for the Monday night game, drink and food specials will satisfy any range of cravings at rock-bottom prices.

To see the teams go head-to-head while taking advantage of some great deals, grab your jerseys and catch the action at Guava Beach.

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labeach
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October 12, 2012
you sure do a lot of articles about bars...

my impression of the guava beach is that it is REALLY LOUD... you can "watch" the games perhaps...