Eatery, entertainment center to open downtown in Z Garage


OZ Architecture is working with Punch Bowl Social on several exciting projects, including this one in downtown Detroit.

Continuing an emphasis on hip, youth-oriented attractions, Quicken Loans founder and Chairman Dan Gilbert announced today that Punch Bowl Social, a Denver-based eatery and entertainment center, will become the anchor tenant in Gilbert’s Z Garage in downtown Detroit.

Bedrock Real Estate Services, Gilbert’s development arm, announced that Punch Bowl Social will open in Z Garage in November and offer 150 jobs. Opened in January, Z Garage, so called because of its zigzag footprint, is notable for murals painted by 27 artists from around the world.

Besides “gastro dining,” defined as “elevated comfort food,” Punch Bowl Social will offer entertainment options such as pool, bowling, darts, karaoke and vintage 1980s-era video games. Punch Bowl Social will occupy 24,000 square feet and the entire ground-floor frontage on Broadway.

Combined with the Detroit Institute of Music Education, which opened on Woodward two weeks ago, these latest entries in the retail, dining and entertainment scene further Gilbert’s vision of unique attractions that will transform downtown into a 24-hour live, work and play environment.

“If we put the same kinds of things downtown as we would have in the suburbs, then there’s not a whole lot of reason for people to come down,” Gilbert told reporters at the Z Garage event. “We want it to be an experience, and even almost an adventure, to come downtown.”

Robert Thompson, founder and CEO of Punch Bowl Social, said the restaurant will be open for breakfast, lunch, dinner and late-night entertaining, offering artisan punches, craft cocktails and beers and fresh ingredients in the food.

“Guests are often drawn to Punch Bowl Social for the games, but more often than not, they return for the gastro-diner and craft beverage experience,” Thompson said.

The decor of the new center will be unusual for downtown. It will have what Thompson called a blend of rustic mountain lodge, raw industrial elements, and some mid-century modern touches. Punch Bowl marketing materials describe the centers as a place “where Paul Bunyan meets Don Draper.”

Dan Mullen, vice president of development for Bedrock, said more announcements will be coming in the weeks ahead about men’s and women’s clothing stores and local and national retailers.

Asked whether rising rents were beginning to make downtown an enclave just for the elite, Gilbert said, “I don’t think we’re anywhere near it.” He added, “We need to get a tax base here.”

Article Written By:
John Gallagher
Detroit Free Press Business Writer