A new look and venue for the historic Coliseum

Posted: February 2nd, 2018 | Columnists, East Village News, Featured | 2 Comments

By Joan Wojcik

East Village is steeped in San Diego history with its many historical buildings. One such building, named the Coliseum, was home to many famous boxing matches starring numerous boxing greats, including James J. Braddock (whose life was depicted in “Cinderella Man”), Ken Norton and Archie Moore.

The Coliseum, located on the corner of F and 15th streets in East Village, closed its doors in 1974 to the Coliseum’s boxing history and ended San Diego’s once-great boxing era.

The Coliseum has remained dark for many years but is once again re-opening its doors. Instead of boxing greats, the grand reopening of the Coliseum in mid-March will introduce a new entertainment venue to the neighborhood, Punch Bowl Social, to be located at 1485 E St.

Founded by Robert Thompson, Punch Bowl Social uses the concept of merging social games, great food and congeniality under one roof. Punch Bowl Socials are very popular and unique entertainment centers with locations in Denver and 10 other cities across the country with nine slated for opening in 2018.

The style and cuisine of each Punch Bowl Social reflects the culture and distinctiveness of its specific neighborhood. The San Diego Punch Bowl Social will reflect the edgy, gritty and bold atmosphere of its new neighborhood — East Village — and it will incorporate the building’s 1920s mission architecture with its rich, past boxing history.

The rehabilitation of the building includes the use of exposed wood beams, rounded arches, decorative tile work, a red tile roof and white stucco walls. The details of the interior design introduce a combination of leather, rope and exposed air ducts, creating an industrial palate and resulting in a warm, masculine feel with a vintage look.

Serving as the entertainment and restaurant anchor for the Makers Quarter’s development in northeast East Village, Punch Bowl Social will cater to the projected number of young professionals, married couples and families who will be living throughout the neighborhood and the greater Downtown area.

Entertainment will include eight bowling alleys, pool tables, karaoke centers and a variety of arcade games, several bar areas, live entertainment and separate dining areas.

With the added ambiance and updated atmosphere of this unique, historic landmark, the Coliseum will continue to be an important social hangout for the community of East Village. Look for the grand opening in March of 2018 for East Village’s newest social venue, Punch Bowl Social.

— Joan Wojcik is the president of the East Village Residents Group. Contact Joan at or visit


  1. Richard Weiler says:

    Is it open yet?

    I live in LA but I love the history of old boxing arenas and I’d like to see the current incarnation of the Coliseum.

    It’s sad that these arenas fade away, like my beloved Olympic Auditorium (now a Korean church) but renovation into a new purpose is better than demolition.

  2. Mike L says:

    I walked inside this venue tonight while they were continuing their setup and training new employees. The manager pointed out some of the repurposed items like timbers used to hold bleachers, a small row of old bleachers as seats and some old ring bells. It was awesome to see the old history come to life again. So glad they bought the venue and are keepers by it historically intact.

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