One of Austin’s most anticipated new entertainment concepts has finally set an opening date. Punch Bowl Social officially opens on December 14 — and is celebrating the grand opening with a blow-out bash.
Located in the Scarborough Building at 522 Congress Ave., the new Punch Bowl will be the second Austin location of the Denver-based chain. The company debuted it Domain outpost in August 2014.
The release describes Punch Bowl as “an experiential lifestyle brand for the millennial and Gen Z generations,” but is really just a hipper version of Dave & Buster’s. While it still has a variety of diversions like classic arcade games, mini bowling lanes, karaoke rooms, and photo booths, the brand places special emphasis on the food and beverage programs in keeping with contemporary preferences.
Internationally inspired dishes like cocoa-dusted carnitas tacos, crab cheese rangoon dip, a superfood grain bowl, and a shrimp burger with Old Bay mayo are offered as playful snacks while the full bar pours out signature punches, local craft beers, and a large zero-proof cocktail menu.
Punch Bowl’s two-level interior space pays homage to its historical home. The hodgepodge of influences include mountain lodges, menswear, and elements of Victorian, Art Deco, midcentury modern, and industrial design. Judging by the descriptions, however, most of the decor can be neatly filed as "Instagrammable."
The menswear elements include pinstripe and herringbone fabrics and a mannequin arm art installation with assorted cufflinks, a nod to Scarborough’s past as a department store. The company also commissioned art inspired by late photographer Ralph Steiner. The pieces all have a “manufactured weather” theme — an homage to the building’s status as the first retail store west of the Mississippi River to have air conditioning.
In another wink to Austin, Punch Bowl is donating all ticket proceeds from its opening party to local nonprofit Andy Roddick Foundation. From 7-9 pm on December 14, guests can get a first look at the space while enjoying a special craft beverage menu, food, and games — all included in the $20 price. The concept will then open to the public beginning at 9 pm.