New Detroit Lions ‘tailgate experience’ opens in former Punch Bowl Social space

Detroit News

Chef Kate Williams will curate the food menu for the VIP experience, which is open to fans three hours before each Lions home game

Enjoy pre-kickoff fun in a weather-controlled environment this football season with a new attraction that’s located blocks from Ford Field.

Bullseye Event Group is selling tickets to “The Lions VIP Tailgate,” a spacious hangout where Punch Bowl Social bar, restaurant and bowling alley was up until the pandemic. For a flat fee, fans can get access to an open bar, a gourmet, chef-designed buffet, pre-game coverage on HD screens and other fun like a DJ, gaming stations and visits from Lions cheerleaders.

Food Network chef Aaron May leads Bullseye Event Group’s culinary offerings and has tapped nationally recognized Detroit chef Kate Williams to head this project. Williams — who owns the upscale diner Karl’s just down the street inside the Siren Hotel — has created a menu of classic tailgate fare with a VIP spin, including grilled filet mignon, tossed salads, tacos, nachos and barbeque favorites like macaroni and cheese, bourbon pulled-pork sliders, creamy cabbage slaw, plus wings, desserts and more.

All ages are welcome at the VIP Tailgate events, which are at 1331 Broadway in downtown Detroit.

Tickets are on sale now for all of the Detroit Lions home games, starting Sept. 12. Purchase a ticket to the VIP Tailgate Experience for $85 per person, or get a tailgate ticket and upper-level ticket to the football game starting at $99 (plus fees). Purchase tickets at

Earlier this month, Eastern Market announced it is prohibiting Lions tailgating in their lots for the 2021-22 season because of lack of staffing to manage the large-scale crowds.

Punch Bowl Social — which has restaurants in Denver, Chicago and elsewhere and debuted in Detroit in December 2014 — closed this location at the start of the pandemic and never reopened. A rep for the company confirmed to The Detroit News earlier this year that the Detroit location is permanently closed.

Twitter: @melodybaetens

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