Two years after first announcing its expansion into San Diego, Punch Bowl Social is readying to open its doors on Saturday, June 9 in Makers Quarter, an up-and-coming redevelopment community in the East Village. The massive 23,500-square-foot restaurant, bar, and entertainment destination breathes new life into the Coliseum Athletic Club, an iconic boxing venue from the 1920s. Named a 2018 Most Innovative Company by Fast Company, the Denver-based group is known for its transformations of unique properties; Punch Bowl Social founder and CEO Robert Thompson says the Coliseum location provided the opportunity to restore a historic site and contribute to the continuing revitalization of the Makers Quarter neighborhood.
Punch Bowl’s “eatertainment” model offers an all-in-one hangout spot by featuring the full gamut of social games; the E Street venue will including two bocce courts, eight bowling lanes, and private karaoke rooms, as well as shuffle board, billiards, ping pong, foosball, an arcade, and tons of TVs. But there’s also an emphasis on dining, which is headed up by Punch Bowl Social culinary partner Hugh Acheson, a James Beard Award-winning chef and judge on Top Chef.
Acheson’s most thorough menu revamp to-date will debut in San Diego before any other markets. While retaining some of Punch Bowl’s American favorites, including a gluten-free variation on Southern fried chicken, Acheson has added new dishes influenced by modern Mexican cuisine, from grilled Albacore tuna served with kale slaw, pico de gallo, lime and pickled red onion to fried squash with braised sweet onion, avocado, quinoa, and salsa verde. The bar should be a draw too, pouring everything from craft beer, cocktails, and punch bowls to non-alcoholic floats, shakes, fizzes, and more.