And while you’re at it…how about entering to win a pair of tickets to the grand opening on Saturday night too? We’ve got three pairs of tickets to give away to three lucky winners and trust me, you won’t want to miss this one. The opening in question? This weekend’s unveiling of the Salt Lake City location of Punch Bowl Social – a business I’ve been tracking for quite some time – and after I went to check out the space today – am even more excited to see open.
Punch Bowl brings something uniquely fun to SLC: a grown up mix of elevated bar food, a craft bar program and a range of fun activities to while away the hours over. All of this is rolled up in an eye popping 21+ only space that’s unmatched in the city. It’s more Vegas than Vernal.
Indeed, it’s like nothing else in Punch Bowl’s own collection of outposts (19 across the country right now) as every build out has design elements unique to the area. For Utah, the design bods took inspiration from SLC’s Olympic history and riffed backwards through time. There are fun Olympian/Greek effects throughout the space, bleeding into astrological/constellatory imagery. There are also several other nods to SLC: a hot Pink Floyd bedecked karaoke room through to copper toned seating and artwork, reflecting the states mining history.
I’ll try to keep this first preview as brief as possible, here’s a few quick highlights about Punch Bowl Social you’ll want to know going in:
- Punch Bowl is known for their food menu built around “shareables” – plates that can be passed around the table and shared between everyone. The Chicken ‘N Waffles are a particular standout (made with a chipotle citrus maple syrup). Prices for food range from $7-$18.50. The team are seriously committed to making everything from scratch in house; this isn’t your typical pub grub starting life in a Sysco bag and ending up in a fryer. In chatting with the group’s culinary & beverage head honcho he even quipped about making biscuits from scratch – multiple times throughout the day.
- Not only does Punch Bowl Social have an award-winning craft cocktail program, but they have a range of non alcoholic creations that are crafted with every bit of care as their boozy cousins. No one needs to feel left out here. And no, this isn’t some odd concession to Utah sensibilities, it’s just a part of Punch Bowl’s core DNA; an inclusive culture of come one, come all.
- Punch Bowl Social has a variety of games and activities: ping-pong, mini-bowling, darts, private karaoke, arcade games and board games. Stop by for a plate, linger over a drink and stay for a game or three of your favorite pastime.
- Fun. Oh yeah, did I mention the whole package is just hella fun? Millions of dollars have undoubtedly been poured into crafting the space, but there’s zero pretension. On the food menu, you’ll find the Knock Off Burger – a twin patty tower with melted American cheese that looks a little like a certain famous burger you’ll find under a certain yellowy arch; there’s a crab rangoon dip which is a deconstructed play on the comfort food Chinese take out of cream cheese wontons (you know you love them), replete with a little packet of duck sauce and Chinese mustard on the site. Cute with a sprinkle of cool charm.
Oh, that name by the way? The moniker Punch Bowl Social comes from old fashioned parties known as punch bowl socials where people would gather ’round a punch bowl and socialize, dance and play games. PBS aims to renew that social aspect of gathering around a table and dining out.
The grand opening for the SLC location is this Saturday, September 21st. Tickets are a measly $20 with all proceeds going to the fantastic work of Encircle. Your ticket will give you three hours to preview the amazing space before the doors open to the public at 10 p.m. – there will be great food samples, free gaming, a live art installation and a special drink menu available for purchase.
You can of course also chance your arm at entering your competition as well. To enter all you have to do is signup for the Gastronomic SLC newsletter and then comment below; just tell us – what’s your favorite shareable dish to snack on with friends?
We’ll select three lucky winners on Friday (Sep 20th) morning via email. The prize is 2 x tickets to the grand opening event and is not redeemable for cash; we’ll need you to confirm your prize via email the same day. The winner and their guest must be over 21 and bring a photo ID to attend (no exceptions). Good luck!
Disclosure: we’re proud to welcome Punch Bowl Social on board as a brand new sponsor this month – crucial businesses that not only keep this site running – but are damn fine places to frequent. Regardless of their sponsorship, this new business looks pretty special for downtown SLC.
Hi, I’m Stuart, nice to meet you! I’m the founder, writer and wrangler at Gastronomic SLC and The Utah Review; I’m also a former restaurant critic of more than five years, working for the Salt Lake Tribune. I’ve worked extensively with other local publications from Utah Stories through to Salt Lake Magazine and Visit Salt Lake. I’m a multiple-award winning journalist and have covered the Utah dining scene for more than a decade. I’m largely fueled by a critical obsession with rice, alliteration and the use of too many big words I don’t understand. What they’re saying about me: “Not inaccurate”, “I thought he was older”, “I don’t share his feelings”.
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