New ‘Space Pad’ Tiki Bar in Oceanside Inspired by OB’s Spaceman

by on September 28, 2022 · 0 comments

in Ocean Beach, San Diego

Clint Cary, OB Spaceman. Photo by Bob Oats

A spaceship-themed Tiki bar opened in May at Killowatt Brewing’s taproom in Oceanside.

The “Space Pad,” a small hidden speakeasy, was inspired by the late Ocean Beach artist Clinton Cary, better known as the “Spaceman of OB,” who died in 1993.

Pam Kragen, at the SD Union-Tribune, recently wrote about the thematic connection between the bar and Spaceman:

In 1957, Cary began writing and painting about his personal encounters with aliens from a planet he called Rillispore.

In fact, Spaceman talked openly to anyone who would listen about Rillispore. And those who knew him were given “space numbers” which would save them once the aliens landed. Mine was XIB/20 (I think). (I have 3 of his paintings – one of which is a blacklight marvel.)

Too young to actually meet Spaceman, Kilowatt co-founders Steve Kozyk and Rachel Fisher — who of course opened the OB brewpub a few years back — were in turn, however, “inspired by Cary’s stories.”

So, they, according to Kragen:

created the 500-square-foot space bar in a back room of their Oceanside taproom. With seating for just 18 to 20 guests plus three stand-up belly tables, Space Pad has a colorful 1950s vibe with sparkly walls, spaceship and star lamps, a disco ball, video panels, miniature space city skyscapes, glowing floor lights and a tiny, Disneyland-like skyway tram running across the back wall. Sound and light shows, with the “Jetsons” theme song and NASA countdown audio tapes, are presented periodically, but can also be launched by request.

Kragen explains the Space Pad legend:

The Space Pad is an interplanetary cocktail lounge based on Rillispore, a tiny planet hidden from Earth behind the dark side of the moon. Its interior was designed in the style of Earth circa 1950, when the first Rillisporan spaceships visited this planet and took home with them new ideas on American architecture and technology, not to mention the concept for Tiki-inspired cocktails. Visitors who enter the rainbow-hued hallway to the Space Pad are actually being magically transported via a cosmic elevator to Rillispore.

I don’t know if Spaceman would feel comfortable at this tiki bar. He might have felt out of place as dive bars were more of his thing.

More from Kragen:

The Space Pad drink menu features nine Rillisporian cocktails and seven more traditional Tiki drinks. All range from $15 to $18. Kilowatt beers are also available for $10 to $12. The top-selling Rillisporan drink is the Blast Off, served on an elevated “launch pad” platform with a complimentary run of the house light show. It’s made with rum, orgeat almond syrup and citrus juices….

A handful of poke and ceviche tapas dishes are available for $9 to $17. …

Because of Space Pad’s small size, reservations are a must. Fortunately they’re not as hard to get as they are at Mothership. Don’t show up late or your table will be given away to standby customers 10 minutes after your appointed arrival time. Reservations can be made on the Space Pad website.

Details: Hours: 5 p.m. to midnight Thursdays-Saturdays; 5 to 11 p.m. Wednesdays and Sundays; closed Mondays and Tuesdays. 406 Mission Ave., Oceanside. (760) 231-1997,


{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment

Older Article:

Newer Article: