Punch Bowl Social to reopen in Milwaukee in time for NCAA Tournament

Entertainment-restaurant venue to capitalize on St. Patty's Day, NCAA crowds


Punch Bowl Social will finally reopen on Wednesday, March 16, in downtown Milwaukee’s Deer District, just in time for NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament games to be played at Fiserv Forum on Friday, March 18, and Sunday, March 20.

The bar-restaurant and entertainment concept is the last of four main tenants along the Milwaukee Bucks’ Entertainment Block to resume operations since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Punch Bowl’s reopening comes after its former parent company went bankrupt and then sparked a months-long legal dispute with its current operators.

On Friday, New Punch Bowl LLC announced that a settlement agreement had been reached and the venue could finally reopen its doors. A news release Monday morning revealed its reopening date and other details.

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Monday’s news comes days ahead of St. Patrick’s Day, known historically as one of the busiest days of the year for bars and restaurants, as well as the first two rounds of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, with games taking place at Fiserv Forum.

“We are eager and ready to re-open our doors to Milwaukee, and we look forward to a bustling week ahead,” said Robert Cornog, Jr., chairman, chief executive officer and co-founder of Punch Bowl Social. “I can think of no better place for St. Patrick’s Day revelry and basketball excitement than Punch Bowl Social at Deer District.”

Punch Bowl Social’s 24,000-square-foot venue features a 360-degree bar, eight bowling lanes, three karaoke rooms, billiards, ping pong, and other games, as well as several large-screen TVs. Its scratch-made menu will have classic favorites such as chicken and waffles, cauliflower nachos and cilantro wings, plus new menu items including bacon-wrapped shrimp and polenta.

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Texas-based CrowdOut Capital purchased the chain out of bankruptcy in 2020 and has reopened all 15 locations but the one in the Deer District.

In July, New Punch Bowl Milwaukee LLC, an affiliate of CrowdOut Capital, struck a lease deal with the Bucks to take over the fully furnished venue. But former operator Eatertainment Milwaukee LLC, formerly known as Punch Bowl Milwaukee LLC, claimed items it had left inside the building belonged to them.

As a result of the now-settled dispute, the venue has sat lifeless for months, missing out on a huge opportunity for business when massive crowds packed Fiserv Forum and the Deer District during the Bucks’ playoff run to the NBA championship last year.

“We are thrilled to have Punch Bowl Social back for our fans and all guests of Fiserv Forum and Deer District,” said Michael Belot, senior vice president of ventures and development for the Milwaukee Bucks. “Punch Bowl Social’s restaurant and entertainment features play an important role in Deer District’s environment and comprehensive offerings.”

The Milwaukee Punch Bowl Social location will be open 4 p.m. to 12 a.m. on Wednesdays and Thursdays, 2 p.m. to 2 a.m. on Fridays, 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. on Saturdays and 11 a.m. to 12 a.m. on Sundays. Punch Bowl Social will also be open on select Mondays and Tuesdays for scheduled events at Fiserv Forum, such as Bucks games and concerts. Weekend brunch will resume later this month.

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