Punch Bowl - Social Food & Drink hopes to roll a strike mid-month

While the future of the building right across First Avenue that holds El Diablo and Sketch remains uncertain, Robert Thompson sounds confident that he'll get Punch Bowl - Social Food & Drink open by the middle of the month -- confident enough that he's already sent out a save-the-date notice. "We don't anticipate any problems," he says. "We've had initial inspections."

See also:
- City deadline for First Avenue Hotel has passed, but El Diablo, Sketch still open
- First look: the culinary creations at Punch Bowl - Social Food & Drink
- Big Lots on Broadway to become a big bowling alley and 24-hour diner courtesy Robert Thompson

The combination diner/bar/entertainment center has taken over the massive space at First and Broadway that started life as a grocery store and was most recently a Big Lots -- massive enough that when completed, Punch Bowl will have a total capacity of 700. "It's been an amazing project, two and a quarter years in the making," says Thompson. "It's the best thing I've ever created by far -- not to cast disdain on any of our previous projects."

And those projects, which range from the long-gone Brasserie Rouge to the closed-but-someday-reopening Argyll to Le Grand Oyster and Bistro Bar, have been pretty impressive.

In the two-plus years that Punch Bowl has been in the works, the concept hasn't shifted much, Thompson says: "The menu is becoming more detailed and refined, but it's the same gastro-diner menu." The diner portion of Punch Bowl will open at 7 a.m. seven days a week (a coffee-shop component will start pouring at 6 a.m.), with the full menu served until midnight and a smaller menu until 1:30 a.m.

On busy weekends, Thompson promises, "a robust but limited menu" will be available in the entertainment area. That area will be open from 6 a.m. through last call, giving customers plenty of time to take advantage of the entertainment portion of the place, which will feature not just eight lanes of bowling, but darts, marbles, shuffleboard, board games and a dozen '80s video games.

But right now, the only important game is the guessing game for when Punch Bowl will actually open its doors.

A version of this story originally appeared in Cafe Bites, our e-mail newsletter on Denver's dining and drinking scene that appears in inboxes every Wednesday afternoon. Find out how to subscribe here.

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Can we assume the Argyll we be re-opening around 2023? You know, so they can be closer to the customers.


Their is a fine line between PR and blatant lies. Thompson specializes in the latter.

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