By Lori Fredrich Senior Food Writer, Dining Editor, Podcast Host Published Oct 23, 2023 at 4:31 PM

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Punch Bowl Social, 1122 N. Vel R. Phillips Ave., has closed its doors for good.

The closing was officially confirmed today by a representative of the Deer District who declined further comment.

The highly anticipated "eatertainment" venue – which offered scratch-made fare and cocktails, along with karaoke, bowling and other onsite games – opened its doors in March of 2019. Despite developing good traction, the venue closed just one year later due to the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

When it reopened last March, the venue struggled to regain its footing, likely due in great part to the challenges facing food and beverage venues across the city including increased costs and challenges finding qualified labor.  The sheer size and manpower needed to run an operation like Punch Bowl Social – along with the need for consistent traffic to support it – are all likely factors that contributed to its closure.

We'll be watching, as usual, for news on what will be next for the prime space.

Lori Fredrich Senior Food Writer, Dining Editor, Podcast Host

Lori is an avid cook whose accrual of condiments and spices is rivaled only by her cookbook collection. Her passion for the culinary industry was birthed while balancing A&W root beer mugs as a teenage carhop, fed by insatiable curiosity and fueled by the people whose stories entwine with each and every dish. She’s had the privilege of chronicling these tales via numerous media, including OnMilwaukee and in her book “Milwaukee Food.” Her work has garnered journalism awards from entities including the Milwaukee Press Club. 

When she’s not eating, photographing food, writing or recording the FoodCrush podcast, you’ll find Lori seeking out adventures with her husband Paul, traveling, cooking, reading, learning, snuggling with her cats and looking for ways to make a difference.