Award-winning, Denver-based restaurant group, Punch Bowl Social, founded by entrepreneur Robert Thompson, hired Chef Chris Cina as culinary operations director to oversee the national culinary operations, further strengthening the culinary team as Punch Bowl Social continues to expand nationally.

In this new role, Cina will oversee the Punch Bowl Social culinary teams at the existing six locations and will support all upcoming locations, focusing on the execution of new menu updates, training new and existing chefs and serving as a resource for the kitchen teams across the country. Cina's hire comes on the heels of the recent appointment of Denver-based chef Matt Selby as regional executive chef overseeing the culinary teams at the two Denver locations on South Broadway and in Stapleton, opening early 2017.

"I've known Chris for most of my career and have watched him continually expand his culinary operational expertise and team leadership," says Thompson. "As a rapidly expanding brand, we're motivated to bring on both local and nationally established culinary talent to continue to ensure the excellence of our kitchens and menus. And were not done yet—our culinary team will continue to grow with a game-changing partnership announcement right around the corner."

"Punch Bowl Social's commitment to the culinary side of the business—their dedication to a completely scratch kitchen—was hugely appealing to me," adds Cina. "This is a tremendous opportunity to share my culinary-centric operational expertise with the innovative and progressive Punch Bowl Social team during this exciting time of national growth."

With current restaurants in Denver, Portland, Austin, Detroit, Cleveland and Schaumburg, Illinois, new locations of Punch Bowl Social will open in Indianapolis and Minneapolis later this year with five more locations in Sacramento, San Diego, Rancho Cucamonga, Chicago, and Dallas scheduled to open in 2017 and a Brooklyn location in early 2018.

Chef Cina studied at The Culinary Institute of America, before arriving in Denver in 1992. Known for leading the kitchen team at the historic Fourth Story restaurant in Cherry Creek and Hideaway Steakhouse in Westminster, he has also spent time cooking in kitchens in Philadelphia, Switzerland, and Palo Alto. Most recently, Chef Cina served as the executive chef leading the culinary teams at the diverse collection of Breckenridge-Wynkoop restaurants.

Conceived just four years ago by founder and CEO Robert Thompson, Punch Bowl Social has quickly transformed the dining and entertainment experience. With an approach that focuses equally on food, beverages and games in a large-format, design forward environment, Punch Bowl Social seamlessly blends an upscale diner-inspired menu and fun, fresh bar offerings with a vintage gaming experience.

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