Not even a year old, Thunderbolt is one of the new guys on the block in Echo Park in Los Angeles, but if you didn’t know that, it would be mighty hard for you to tell. Brought to you by the same owners of Park’s Finest, Thunderbolt pulls several different cultural corners together to create yet another refined and unique cocktail bar.
OUR ARTICLEBY: Dakota Nate Contributing writer
Stop us if you’ve already caught on, but we’re loving the bar scene in Echo Park at the moment. There’s something about the location, and dare we say it, the vibe when it comes to the neighborhood that has had such an ongoing multi-cultural heartbeat, which is still very much pumping and thriving today, behind the trendy bars, storefronts, and restaurants that have planted their roots there in the last couple of years. As we reach the end of the year hiding from the cold atop a barstool with something that is somehow both icy in our hands and warm in our bellies, we find ourselves growing sentimental, and what a better place to enjoy all of this than a stretch where you can cover some serious ground on foot whilst bar-hopping. In which, we raise our glasses to our newest favorite. Say it with us now, “Cocktails are love, BBQ is love, and Thunderbolt is love.”
casually mod Echo park hideaway that compliments its neighbor greatly, but retains its own identity.
Taking up shop next door to Filipino BBQ heaven on earth, Park’s Finest, co-founder Johneric Concordia along with maestro of the bar, Mike Capoferri, and restaurateur Rahul Marwah, have created an all-inclusive, casually mod Echo park hideaway that compliments its neighbor greatly, but retains its own identity. Named after a teeny tiny little town in Georgia about five miles Southeast of downtown Savannah, Thunderbolt offers up authentic southern comfort across the board with an innovative beverage program and proper complimentary fare, including their beloved pork belly burnt ends and their pickled shrimp and Geecie Boy grits. In case you’re wondering, which we were, Geecie Boy is a Family-run farm and fresh produce market with three acres of vegetable gardens, and four working grit mills based out of South Carolina. The South prevails.
As you enter Thunderbolt, you’ll step through the threshold and over a tile welcome mat of sorts with the greeting, “BLESS YOUR HEART” which adds graciously to the feel of at-homeness radiating from every corner. Lively cocktails are spun from a contemporary 14-seat bar with a sensible selection of spirits looming. Fan favorites include goodies such as Tropipop, a carbonated ode to the Piña Colada, and their signature, The Peach Thunderbolt, which you can drink out of a limited edition Thunderbolt mug. We don’t know about you, but we love a cheeky souvenir.
If there’s anything to be said about Thunderbolt’s atmosphere, it is that boy, is it homey — but in somewhat of an unlikely way. While the interior has this air of modern sophistication to it, it has the warmth of your favorite sports bar back home. You know, the one with sticky floors and the same furniture they’ve had in there since the 90s, just, well, sans sticky floors and outdated furnishings. Taking on its own persona, the contrast between Park’s and Thunderbolt is very apparent, but the latter still somehow feels like a sexy, tipsy cousin of the adored and critically acclaimed former. Either way, you’ve got nothing to lose. Come on, we know all you had today was that bagel and a handful of chips — we can hear your stomach grumbling. Grab a friend, call your car, and get your ass down to Thunderbolt. You could use a drink.
Total neighborhood vibe, so won’t you be their Neighbor?
You better be ready for some high quality Madeira
Interior design is off the charts with wooden accents, bold colored greens, and a turn table
Southern-inspired bites pair well with the cocktail menu