Punch Bowl Social, a restaurant, bar and entertainment venue born in Denver six years ago that now boasts locations in 14 cities across the United States, will open in the Entertainment Block adjacent to the new Bucks arena next spring.
PBS will offer lunch, dinner, late-night snacks and weekend brunch in what it calls "an environment that is playful and surprisingly intimate."
The arena itself is slated to open Aug. 26.
Craft cocktails are a specialty at Punch Bowl Social, which will occupy 24,000 square feet across two levels of the block at 320 W. Highland Ave. That footprint include a 1,249-square-foot upper level deck.
The restaurant menu items are all made from scratch that, a press release says, "melds the best of the American diner with a fresh, modern take on Mexican cuisine designed and curated by James Beard Award-winning chef Hugh Acheson."
In addition, the restaurant offers bowling, ping-pong, Skeeball, Bonzini, board games, shuffleboard, classic video games, virtual reality experiences and more.
"Punch Bowl Social will be an outstanding part of the Entertainment Block," Peter Feigin, president of the Milwaukee Bucks and Head of the Herd Real Estate Development LLC, said in a statement. "It will be a major attraction for the Entertainment Block, and will offer visitors an exciting and memorable experience.
"We are committed to making the Entertainment Block a world-class destination."
Added Blair Williams, managing director of Real Estate for Head of the Herd, "Punch Bowl Social will provide guests of all ages and interests with a unique and remarkable experience. It’s an exciting addition for Milwaukee."
The restaurant already has locations in Chicago, Atlanta, Detroit, Minneapolis, Indianapolis, Cleveland, Sacramento and San Diego, among other cities. It will join Good City Brewing in the Entertainment Block, which is being developed by Head of the Herd Real Estate Development LLC.
Punch Bowl Social Founder and CEO Robert Thompson said he’s looking forward to the Milwaukee expansion. "Milwaukee is a city on the move," Thompson said.
"The restaurant and entertainment scenes are evolving so quickly in Milwaukee. When we first visited, and saw all the excitement and energy around the new arena and the Entertainment Block, we knew we needed to be here. It’s a great fit for our brand, and we’re looking forward to opening our doors to the community next year."
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.
He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.
With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.
He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for OnMilwaukee.com and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.
In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area.
He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.