By Lori Fredrich Senior Food Writer, Dining Editor, Podcast Host Published Mar 15, 2019 at 9:01 AM

It’s almost spring, and if you’re tired of sitting at home holed up on the couch with a healthy serving of Netflix on your plate, it might be time for a trip to Punch Bowl Social, 1122 N. Vel R. Phillips Ave.

And just in case you need a sense of the ways you can while away your time, we’ve got five ideas to get you started.

1. Be social

Head to the movies with friends and you’ll experience minimal (if any) conversation. But at Punch Bowl Social, every activity is an opportunity for social interaction.

Take bowling for instance. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a first-timer, there’s always great conversation to be had in between strikes and gutter balls. When you’re done you can take a break and grab a bite to eat, check out the arcade or even play a game of pool.

2. Belly up to the bar

Whether it’s for happy hour, an afternoon with your girlfriends or a night out with the guys, there’s a seat waiting for you at one of Punch Bowl Social’s three bars. The diner serves up everything from fresh juices and coffee to non-alcoholic or adult milkshakes like the Malted Maple Royal.

Journey upstairs and you'll find the Social Bar, a bright congenial space with a menu of cocktails, mocktails, house sodas and locally brewed beer. There's also the 360 Bar, a circular bar where beverages – from cocktails to mocktails – abound. Even better, if you get hungry, there’s a whole menu of shareable snacks and entrees to satisfy your cravings.

3. Just hang out

Don’t feel the need to be confined at the bar all night. There’s also a good amount of soft seating to be found, whether it’s in the venue’s three private karaoke rooms (where you can also perfect your falsetto), next to the fire in the Holiday Lodge or on any number of the couches and lounge areas located around the premises.

4. Practice your math

Bet you thought you’d never use all that geometry you learned in high school. Well, surprise. You can put it (along with a few things you picked up in Physics) to good use at Punch Bowl Social

A good knowledge of angles is necessary to excel at a game of pool, where you’ll need a bit of geometry to plan out your bank shots and a bit of panache to know just how hard to hit that cue ball to make it do what you want. Incidentally, you’ll also need it to maintain a perfect volley during your next game of ping pong.

5. Engage in some friendly competition

Compete for the title of "steadiest hand" with a game of giant Jenga. Or prove your smarts with a competitive round of wall scrabble. There’s also cornhole, darts and board games like Battleship, Clue and Risk that allow you to socialize while enjoying a night with friends.

If you really want to drum up some excitement, there are few table games more competitive than foosball during which you have the opportunity to play with up to three other people. After all, it takes strategy and planning to come up with exactly the right formula to ensure a win. Best of all, the game is simple, so anyone can play.

Punch Bowl's hours (March 9-31) will be Monday through Friday from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m., Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 a.m. and Sunday from 9 a.m. to midnight.
Beginning April 1, PBS will be open Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m., Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 a.m. and Sunday from 9 a.m. to midnight.

Lori Fredrich Senior Food Writer, Dining Editor, Podcast Host

Lori is an avid cook whose accrual of condiments and spices is rivaled only by her cookbook collection. Her passion for the culinary industry was birthed while balancing A&W root beer mugs as a teenage carhop, fed by insatiable curiosity and fueled by the people whose stories entwine with each and every dish. She’s had the privilege of chronicling these tales via numerous media, including OnMilwaukee and in her book “Milwaukee Food.” Her work has garnered journalism awards from entities including the Milwaukee Press Club. 

When she’s not eating, photographing food, writing or recording the FoodCrush podcast, you’ll find Lori seeking out adventures with her husband Paul, traveling, cooking, reading, learning, snuggling with her cats and looking for ways to make a difference.