Punch Bowl Social on Broadway in Denver, November 1, 2016.
Andy Cross | Denver Post | Getty Images
Punch Bowl Social filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy Monday after the coronavirus pandemic destroyed its business.
As recently as February, the once lively “eatertainment” chain appeared to be the future of the restaurant industry, offering arcade games and karaoke as well as food and drinks. Cracker Barrel invested $ 140 million in a stake in the company last year, and Punch Bowl had grown to 20 locations by the time it was locked in March.
The crisis has evaporated the customer base, and Cracker Barrel decided in March to prop up its own liquidity instead of helping Punch Bowl stay afloat.
CEO Robert Thompson, who founded Punch Bowl in 2012, left the company amid the pandemic. The main lender CrowdOut Capital became part-owner and hired a new managing director: John Haywood, who has made a name for himself as a turnaround specialist.
Punch Bowl has liabilities of between $ 10 million and $ 50 million, according to its bankruptcy filing. JPMorgan Chase, its top creditor, owes more than $ 10 million on a payment protection program loan. The majority of the other creditors are tenants of locations across the country.
The company is the latest in a spate of restaurants and retailers to file for bankruptcy during the pandemic, including parent company Chuck E. Cheese, Ruby Tuesday and J. Crew. Bankruptcy experts have predicted a new flurry of filings after the holidays.
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