Robert Thompson's Punch Bowl Social team continues to add some of Denver's top culinary talent. Earlier this summer, chef Matt Selby signed on as the regional executive chef for the growing brand, and now Christopher Cina has come aboard as national culinary director. Cina will oversee the culinary teams at the six existing Punch Bowl Social locations in Austin, Cleveland, Denver, Detroit, Portland and Schaumburg, Illinois, with a focus on rolling out menu updates and training chefs and kitchen crews for the growing company, which will more than double its number of restaurants in the next two years.
Cina will have his hands full, considering the breakneck pace of growth for the company. Thompson opened the original Punch Bowl Social at 65 Broadway in 2012 and will add a second Denver location in Stapleton in the coming months. Beyond Colorado, PBS branches will sprout in Indianapolis and Minneapolis later this year. And in 2017 and 2018, Thompson will add six more of the gastro-tainment centers in California (Sacramento, San Diego and Rancho Cucamonga), Chicago, Dallas and Brooklyn.
Cina was most recently executive chef for the Breckenridge-Wynkoop group, before a buyout of the Breckenridge Brewery by Anheuser-Busch shook up the company's bar and restaurant holdings. The chef has been a mainstay in the Denver restaurant scene since his days at the long-gone Fourth Story above the Tattered Cover (also long-gone) in Cherry Creek.
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Punch Bowl Social's original opening chef, Sergio Romero, will continue to lend his expertise as the company's regional operations director.