Select Page

In the eclectic and ever-vibrant Mission Bernal neighborhood of San Francisco, Outer Orbit shines as a unique gem where craft beer, pinball, and Hapa-Hawaii culture collide. Founded by Christian and Elisabeth, a couple with a profound love for pinball and a vision to create a space that reflects their diverse interests and backgrounds, Outer Orbit has become a must-visit destination for those seeking a one-of-a-kind experience.

The Inception of Outer Orbit

Christian shares the journey that led to the creation of Outer Orbit, rooted in a shared passion for pinball and a desire to contribute to their local community in Bernal Heights. Initially envisioned as a modest pinball venue, the discovery of a space with a full kitchen turned their dream into a reality that beautifully marries gaming with gourmet. The fusion of these elements has resonated well with patrons, making Outer Orbit a beloved spot that honors pinball’s enduring appeal.

Hapa-Hawaii and NorCal: A Cultural Blend

Drawing inspiration from Christian’s Hawaiian upbringing, Outer Orbit exudes an atmosphere that’s both welcoming and vibrant, embodying the laid-back essence of Hawaii while embracing the dynamic spirit of Northern California. This cultural synthesis is evident in the ambiance and the team’s approach to service, mirroring the diversity and hospitality that define both regions. Christian’s “Fluffy, not stuffy” philosophy informs the establishment’s ethos, ensuring a relaxed yet professional guest experience.

Curating a Craft Beer Experience

Elisabeth, the curator behind the bar’s impressive craft beer selection, meticulously pairs the unique flavors of Hawaiian and San Francisco cuisine with a diverse array of beers. From tropical sours to local IPAs, the selection at Outer Orbit is designed to complement the menu’s fusion of tastes, ensuring there’s something for every palate. This commitment to quality and variety highlights the establishment’s dedication to enhancing the dining and gaming experience through thoughtfully chosen beverages.

Fostering a Pinball Community

Outer Orbit has become a hub for San Francisco’s thriving pinball community, hosting leagues and welcoming players of all levels. The establishment’s support for groups like Belles and Chimes and the San Francisco Queer Pinball League exemplifies its commitment to inclusivity and the growth of pinball culture in the Bay Area. Christian and Elisabeth’s enthusiasm for the game and its community has made Outer Orbit a pivotal space for fostering connections and celebrating pinball.

Enhancing the Atmosphere with Music

The selection of synthy-gothy-punk music at Outer Orbit provides more than a backdrop; it amplifies the venue’s energetic and inclusive vibe. Investments in sound dampening and a strategically placed speaker system ensure that guests can enjoy the music and the sound of pinball machines without sacrificing conversation, creating a lively and friendly immersive environment.

Hawaii’s Culinary Influence

The menu at Outer Orbit draws heavily on Christian’s experiences with Hawaii’s dynamic food scene, offering contemporary dishes that blend traditional Hawaiian influences with Japanese and local San Francisco flavors. From homemade spam to vegan options, the menu reflects a thoughtful exploration of multicultural cuisine, catering to various dietary preferences while staying true to the founders’ roots and the local culinary landscape.

Menu Evolution and Innovation

Since its opening, Outer Orbit’s menu has evolved to meet its patrons’ changing needs and preferences, particularly in response to the challenges posed by the pandemic. The shift towards comfort food and portable dishes has allowed the venue to maintain its connection with the community, even in difficult times. Including creative and sometimes unconventional dishes showcases Outer Orbit’s willingness to experiment and adapt, keeping the dining experience fresh and exciting.

Community and Competitive Pinball

The Outer Orbit Otters pinball team exemplifies the venue’s role in promoting pinball as a competitive and community-building activity. By welcoming new players and focusing on skill development, Outer Orbit contributes to the vitality of the local pinball scene, encouraging engagement and camaraderie among enthusiasts.

Looking Ahead: Outer Orbit’s Future

Christian and Elisabeth envision a future where Outer Orbit thrives as a space that brings together diverse interests and communities. Their call to support local restaurants and the broader community reflects a commitment to resilience and adaptation in facing challenges, underscoring the importance of community support for small businesses.

Outer Orbit is a testament to the power of passion, creativity, and community in crafting a space that offers more than just food and games. It’s where cultures merge, friendships are forged, and the simple joys of pinball and craft beer are celebrated. As Outer Orbit looks to the future, it remains a beacon of innovation and inclusivity in San Francisco’s diverse landscape.

Outer Orbit’s Hapa-Hawaii and NorCal Pinball Fusion

Based on an Interview with Elizabeth & Christian on Bernal Connect

Skip to content