Let’s count the black people in this Punch Bowl Social billboard

UPDATE, Sept. 28: There actually is a black person in the above billboard. Read more here.

Punch Bowl Social, a newer fun-and-games booze house downtown, found itself in the center of a nasty controversy late last year when black patrons alleged racist treatment from the restaurant’s staff. Since then, it’s been quiet at ol’ PBS while – ahem – other downtown bars have found themselves in other unfortunate race-related circumstances.

But an eagle-eyed tipster driving south on Woodward this week passes along a concern to BLAC about a new billboard posted near the I-94 overpass. The ad for Punch Bowl Social raises cheers to “going out right.” But, as our tipster asks, is it going out right or going out white?

We took a gander at the billboard for ourselves, and we’re inclined to raise the same question with extra layers. Why, exactly, in a city that’s (still) roughly 80% black, is there a billboard with 100% white people?

Now before you, dear reader, complain – no, the billboard didn’t have to include 80% black people in the billboard. No, a billboard with, say, Joumana Kayrouz, Norman Yatooma, the Bernstein family or Mike Morse doesn’t need a black person in them because these people are advertising themselves. But a bar advertising a night out in a city as diverse as this one is – there wasn’t room for one, just one, black person?


One might chalk this up to Punch Bowl Social being a national chain and this being the default billboard for all of its locations. You know, like Cleveland (53% black population), Washington, D.C. (48% black population), Chicago (33% black population), and…oh, dear.

Let’s do better, Punch Bowl.

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