Casual-dining and entertainment concept Punch Bowl Social has hired a new corporate chef to drive menu innovation as the chain expands.
Sheamus Feeley has been named the Denver-based company’s chief culinary and beverage officer, reporting directly to CEO Robert Thompson.
The 14-unit chain’s menu development had been under the direction of celebrity chef Hugh Acheson, who also owns and operates two restaurants in Athens, Ga., and three in Atlanta.
A Punch Bowl Social spokesperson said via email that Acheson “is still part of the Punch Bowl Social family and integral to the historic fabric of the company’s culinary program, [but] as Punch Bowl Social continues to grow and expand, he is out of time capacity to serve in his current role.”
Feeley’s formative years were spent at the Hillstone Restaurant Group, operator of the Houston’s and Hillstone concepts, where he worked for more than a decade in various roles, including executive chef and vice president. He also was vice president of culinary and kitchen innovation for BJ’s Restaurants and was on the opening team of Wolfgang Puck’s restaurants in Denver.
Additionally, he was part of the opening team of Farmstead Restaurant and Long Meadow Ranch in St. Helena, Calif.
Most recently, Feeley was founder and CEO of his own company, SF Hospitality and Consulting.
“Sheamus’s extensive experience at Hillstone, one of the most beloved and respected restaurant concepts in America, combined with his innovative culinary approach at Farmstead and high-volume, high-quality execution at BJ’s will play a pivotal role as we continue to expand throughout the country,” Thompson said in a statement.
“We never stop evolving and changing,” he added. “Having Sheamus on our leadership team enables the company to continue to aggressively develop and continuously improve our company and beverage programs during this exciting time for our growing company.”
Feeley’s appointment came just before the chain announced a $20 million investment via CrowdOut Capital LLC, a web-based platform that allows smaller players to invest in corporate debt. This is the second time that Punch Bowl Social has received investment via CrowdOut.
It also received a “significant investment” from L-Catterton in June of 2017.
“CrowdOut has been a great partner and has helped us grow to meet consumer demand for more locations,” Punch Bowl Social chief financial officer and principal Robert Cornog Jr. said in a statement. “CrowdOut provided the flexibility and efficiency we wanted because the CrowdOut loan was structured in a manner that provided the right capital, at the right terms and at the right time,” he added, without providing further detail.
Punch Bowl Social’s 15th restaurant is slated to open in Alexandria, Va., on Dec. 8.
The chain’s management said earlier this year that it planned to expand to 25 locations by the end of 2019, using its existing 25,000-square-foot format as well as a smaller 12,500-square-foot option that it hopes to debut in the Texas cities of Dallas and Fort Worth next year.
Contact Bret Thorn at [email protected]
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