After nearly 20 years sitting vacant at Central Park Blvd. and MLK, the Stapleton control tower complex will have a new purpose. At a press conference on March 9, Forest City and Denver-based Seasoned Development announced plans to restore the icon into a Punch Bowl Social, a diner and old-school entertainment facility.
City Councilman Chris Herndon, who spearheaded the effort to bring Punch Bowl Social, is excited to “activate” the tower space.
“There is no better repurpose for this iconic space than to convert it into a community social gathering epicenter for the Stapleton area and beyond,” said Robert Thompson, founder and CEO of Punch Bowl. Thompson wants to celebrate the tower’s original design—“mid-century modern with a bit of a slant toward art deco.”
The facility will expand from 15,000 square-feet to 22,000 square-feet to fit about 600 people. Almost 2 full acres behind the tower will be developed to meet parking needs, but the developers expect many people will walk or bike to the location.
The first two floors will be entertainment and restaurant space. There will be six bowling alleys and arcade games. The menu includes craft cocktails and redesigned bar food like almond coconut caramel popcorn, buffalo jalapeno meatloaf or a seared tuna sandwich.
The third floor will house Punch Bowl Social corporate offices. Right now the use of the observation deck is undecided.
Some Stapleton resident-attendees at the March 9 press conference, expressed confusion about the decision to bring Punch Bowl Social. Some cited the lack of parking and noise at the restaurant’s first Denver location on South Broadway, which opened in 2012. The location is a mainly 20- and 30-year-olds’ gathering spot. Thompson assures each Punch Bowl location is determined by the surrounding neighborhood. “The Punch Bowl in Stapleton will be very different than the South Broadway one, which is grittier and located in a growing entertainment district. The Stapleton location will be more family oriented.”
They anticipate a Spring 2016 opening.