Old Stapleton air traffic control tower set to open as new Punch Bowl Social

DENVER --  A piece of Denver history is currently going through renovations, as it prepares for a new role.

The Stapleton airport control tower served as the brain center for the old airport for years. Now one company is preserving the past.

“These are the last assembled bricks of the Stapleton airport,” Punch Bowl Social Founder and CEO Robert Thompson said.

The tower will stay intact in the form of Denver's own restaurant chain, Punch Bowl Social.

“To have the opportunity to preserve this Colorado icon was very special,” Thompson said.

Preservation is easier said than done. After years for construction and planning, architects figured out a way to transform the old office building and control tower. They even kept a lot of the original materials.

Inside you'll find the normal Punch Bowl essentials like bars, dining areas, and a bowling alley. You'll also see some nods to aviation as a way to recognize the building's history.

The first two floors will be part of the restaurant and the third floor will be used as office space for the company.

“This is a beacon for the neighborhood,” architect Frank Mataipule said.

The tower won't be open to diners, because it's not ADA compliant.

Organizers plan to paint the tower to go with the newly renovated restaurant area. While you won't be able to go upstairs, the views remind you how historic this property really is.

Punch Bowl Social says if everything goes as planned, the restaurant should open at the end of October.