When it opens next summer, Punch Bowl Social will take up the entire first floor of the Wynwood Garage.
The 23,000-square-foot restaurant/bar/entertainment spot is different from other "eatertainment" venues such as Dave & Buster's and Kings Bowl, according to Punch Bowl Social's founder and CEO, Robert Thompson. "We may have bowling lanes, but we are not a bowling alley," he says. "Our food and drink is the glue that holds us together."
Another feature is that each site boasts a vibe unique to the city in which it's located, rather than being cookie-cutter. Thompson calls the Wynwood location an "acid lodge." For Miami, the chain's signature lodge feel has been spruced up and modernized with bright colors and an industrial aesthetic that takes inspiration from the neighborhood's street art.
Thompson says the concept, which was launched in 2012 in Denver, will offer local craft beers and employ Miami-based vendors for breads and produce. The menu — which offers items such as tacos, pork rillettes, burgers, and chicken 'n' waffles with chipotle syrup — was created by James Beard Award-winning chef Hugh Acheson.
Acheson is the former culinary partner for the restaurant. Although he's still associated with the chain, chef Sheamus Feeley has taken over the role of chief culinary and beverage officer. Feeley, who comes from the restaurant giant Hillstone, will oversee the menu alongside national beverage director Patrick Williams.
And, yes, after you've enjoyed your meal, a plethora of activities awaits, including bowling, karaoke in private rooms, table tennis, darts, board games, classic videogames, and other diversions.
If you're wondering if the opening of Punch Bowl Social is the beginning of the end of Wynwood's urban and artsy vibe, Thompson says he understands the concern. "Punch Bowl Social is founded by one guy who started a restaurant in 2012 that served food and drinks from scratch," he says, "and we still do that."
It might help to note that Chicago's Punch Bowl Social is located in the city's Fulton Market District alongside treasured restaurants such as Stephanie Izard's Duck Duck Goat, Au Cheval, and the Publican.
In any event, Thompson simply wants Wynwood denizens to stop in for a bite or a drink — and maybe get wooed by the lure of karaoke and bowling.
Punch Bowl Social. 2660 NW Third Ave., Miami; punchbowlsocial.com. Opening summer 2019.
Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.