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Punch Bowl Social gets growth funds infusion

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In a move likely to intensify competition in the growing fun-and-food category, the private-equity firm L Catterton has invested in Punch Bowl Social, a six-unit contender.

Terms were not disclosed, but Punch Bowl called the investment “significant.”

“With L Catterton’s support, Punch Bowl Social is primed to become an iconic American brand,” Punch Bowl CEO Robert Thompson said in a prepared statement.

The chain cited plans to open branches in Atlanta, San Diego, Dallas, and Washington, D.C. It currently has outlets in Cleveland, Detroit, Chicago, Indianapolis, Minneapolis and Denver, where the concept was started in 2012 by Thompson.

Punch Bowl Socials typically measure around 25,000 square feet. Guests are invited to play such games as ping pong, pinball, bowling, shuffleboard and skee-ball. Bar service and a full food menu are also offered. The menu was developed by southern celebrity chef Hugh Acheson.

It competes with such ventures as Pinstripes, Spin and Barcade. Dave & Buster's is a leader in the food-and-games segment, but emphasizes electronic and arcade-type games.

L Catterton has invested in a number of restaurant brands, including Hopdoddy, Velvet Taco, Chopt, Piada, P.F. Chang’s and Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza. It claims to be the biggest consumer-focused private-equity firm in the world, with $14 billion in capital.

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