Patriot Games

Photo by Jeff “Turbo” Corrigan

Pamela Pyrtko whizzes around behind the bar at Maloney’s Tavern in the Gaslamp like a bottle rocket. Her hair looks like fireworks, her name sounds like pyrotechnics, and her explosive party spirit never fails to fire up the crowd.

This red-blooded bartender in red, white and blue grew up in Point Pleasant, New Jersey (which we assume is unpleasant, because she lives in San Diego now), and moved to America’s Finest to show her stars and stripes by supporting the military. Well, kinda...

PacificSD: You come from a military family, right?
Pyrtko: Yes, I have two brothers that have served. One’s a Marine, and he served three deployments-first in Iraq, then to Afghanistan, then back to Iraq. My other brother is serving in the Army right now, in Afghanistan, and my grandfather’s a World War II Navy veteran.

Is that what brought you to San Diego?
No, I moved here because I met a sailor. We met online, at

Cool. How’s that relationship going?
I’m single now.

Is that your natural hair color?
Absolutely! I was born and raised in New Jersey.

What’s the most un-American thing you’ve ever done?
Flashed the White House.

What do you love most about the U.S.A.?
Guns, football, beer and opportunity.

Maloney’s Tavern
777 Fifth Ave., Gaslamp