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August 21st, 2013 RICHARD GRUNERT | Bar Reviews
 

Punch Bowl Social: Mall Bar

clublist_punchbowl_3942PUNCH BOWL SOCIAL - IMAGE: Misha Ashton Moore

Strictly speaking, Punch Bowl Social (340 SW Morrison St., 334-0360, punchbowlsocial.com) isn’t located on the third floor of Pioneer Place Mall. Punch Bowl Social is the third floor. The new megabar includes an arcade, darts, bowling, pingpong, karaoke, foosball, shuffleboard and a balcony smoking area overlooking downtown. The Portland branch of a Denver chain, Punch Bowl is as classy as a shopping-mall bar with a giant plastic deer head on the wall can hope to be. While the colored fluorescent lights make it seem like the owners are going for a club vibe, flocks of screaming kids ruin the mood. You have to pay extra for the activities—except marbles, if you bring your own marbles. Bowling is a bargain from 10 pm to close, but pingpong is always $10 an hour—leaving lots of empty space around the tables. The restaurant is Applebee’s-esque and serves a $12 banh mi and $13 lamb burger. Even with three bars, the selection of booze is bland ($4 Coors Light, $8 Barracuda with Skyy Vodka and house jalapeño sour mix), seemingly tailored to the kind of patron who finds Guinness or Tecate exotic. But with all this space, there’s not even one pool table. To enjoy this place as a bar, you’re going to need a whole lot of punch—a bowl with eight servings is $72—but it’s a hell of a babysitter. 

 
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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