Multi-faceted Punch Bowl Social debuts Wednesday

Melody Baetens
The Detroit News

A punch cocktail is served at a party as a way to accommodate many guests at once, and that's one of the goals of Punch Bowl Social, a new 24,000-square-foot hangout opening Wednesday night in Detroit.

The focus of the entertainment complex is food and beverages — craft cocktails and upscale comfort food — but mixed in with the super-hip decor is a bowling alley, vintage arcade, photo booth, shuffle board, ping pong and private karaoke rooms.

"I feel like our concept is very authentic and I think that Detroit will relate to that," says Punch Bowl Social founder Robert Thompson. This is the CEO's fourth Punch Bowl location. Similar complexes are up and running in Portland, Denver and Austin. A Chicago location is planned for late next year.

The decor at all four PBS is similar. It's an alluring mix of mid-century modern, victorian, industrial and what Thompson calls "mountain hunting lodge," and it works for the Motor City. For example, a chandelier made of antlers hangs from an exposed ceiling over a bar adorned with 1960s-style bar stools.

Punch Bowl Social can hold 850, with about 120 at a time seated for dinner in the gastro-diner. There are also three bars to visit: one in the dining area, a round bar in the middle of the action, and a third bar upstairs. The whole complex is located below a parking structure that holds 1,300 cars.

"We anticipate high volumes," says Thompson. "The location is a nice combination between the town center and the sports arenas."

Punch Bowl Social, which is open to all ages until 10 p.m. daily (but is 21 and up after 10 p.m.), is a few minutes walk from the Detroit Opera House. Comerica Park and Ford Field are nearby, as are Greektown and Campus Martius.

Punch Bowl Social

1331 Broadway, Detroit

Opens 7 p.m. Wednesday with a $10 cover that benefits the Salvation Army of Metro Detroit and a live performance from local pop/rock band Kaleido. No cover after 9 p.m. Wednesday

Hours: Kitchen and bar are open 7 a.m.-2 a.m. Mon.-Fri.; 9 a.m.-2 a.m. Sat.-Sun.

Food: Upscale comfort food made with many local ingredients. Menu includes breakfast (until 3 p.m.), soups, salads, cast iron burgers, sandwiches, entrees, small bites and gourmet bar food like almond coconut caramel popcorn, rosemary scented nuts and truffle potato chips. Local food partners are Zingerman's, Peteet's Famous Cheesecakes, Scotty O'Hotty Hot Sauce and Red Goose Spice Co.

Drinks: Fresh-squeezed juice, craft soft drinks, craft cocktails, local and imported beer, breakfast drinks (Fernet and coffee, mimosas, Bloody Mary, etc.), milkshakes, wine by the glass or bottle and, of course, punch (served in servings for one, four or eight).

Music: Thompson says a DJ will set the vibe most of the time, but there's no dance floor and there are no plans to have live music.

Parking: Punch Bowl Social is located on the ground floor of the Z-Garage, which holds around 1,300 vehicles.