As a 20-something bartender and waiter in the early 1990’s, Robert Thompson bounced from the US to the UK, gaining experience in restaurants and pubs where he sowed the seeds for his future passion. In 1997 at the age of 25, Robert opened his first restaurant, a large-format, dual concept called Buffalo Billiards & Havana Lounge in Nashville, launching what would become a lifelong career in hospitality.
Punch Bowl Social was exclusively imagined and founded by Robert after an extensive career conceptualizing and operating both large-format eatertainment brands and independent boutique restaurants. Following the award winning openings of nine different restaurant concepts, Robert began to actualize his vision for Punch Bowl Social in early 2010, opening the first location in Denver’s historic Baker neighborhood in 2012. With lines around the block starting on day one, it was clear that Punch Bowl Social had struck a chord with young diners and drinkers seeking something authentic and out-of-the-ordinary. Robert opened 20 locations and elevated 2019 sales to $119m. In 2017, Robert brought in premier PE firm L Catterton, and in 2019 transacted L Catterton out with a new strategic partner, Cracker Barrel (NYSE: CBRL), at a $185m enterprise value.
In 2017, Ernst & Young recognized Robert’s contribution to the hospitality industry by naming him a recipient of the prestigious Entrepreneur of The Year® award. Robert’s Punch Bowl Social brand earned a number of awards and recognitions, including Fast Company Magazine’s 50 Most Innovative Companies in the World 2019, and Nation’s Restaurant News’ 2017 Next 20 Brands to Watch. PBS was the only brand to win both Nation’s Restaurant News’ Hot Concept (2018) and Breakout Brand (2015) awards.
Following the 2020 pandemic, Robert established a new hospitality company named Angevin & Co creating both growth restaurant concepts and investing into hospitality. In 2021, Angevin acquired and renovated the historic Frenchmen Hotel on Frenchmen Street in New Orleans. Angevin launched Three Saints Revival in North Union Station Denver and will introduce French Quarter Boulangerie in the French Quarter New Orleans in 2023. In 2022 Robert began fielding inbound calls from capital partners and landlords requesting he re-enter the eatertainment category. The first Jaguar Bolera opens in Raleigh late 2023, and the first Camp Pickle in Denver mid-2024. Angevin & Co’s primary focus in the coming years is the growth of Camp Pickle.
Born on a military base in Germany and raised in Mississippi, Robert loves traveling to explore the roots of international cuisine and design. A lifelong fitness enthusiast, he enjoys distance running and spending every free moment with his wife, Mia, and their three sons.