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‘Eat-ertainment’ establishment grants abandoned air traffic control building a second life

Adaptive Reuse

‘Eat-ertainment’ establishment grants abandoned air traffic control building a second life

The concept’s design reflects the golden age of flight.

By David Malone, Associate Editor | November 29, 2017
Exterior of Punch Bowl Social Stapleton
Exterior of Punch Bowl Social Stapleton

After the Stapleton International Airport closed in 1995, most of the associated buildings were demolished. One of the few survivors, an air traffic control tower, stood vacant for over 20 years as the surrounding community grew around the site.

The historic tower, which avoided demolition a few more times over the years, recently received its second lease on live as a Punch Bowl Social, a Denver-based “eat-ertainment” company that combines social gaming with a focus on culinary and beverage offerings.


Interior of Punch Bowl Social StapletonCourtesy Punch Bowl Social.


The 32,000-sf historic preservation and adaptive re-use project, designed by OZ Architecture, honored the legacy of the airport and preserved many original elements of the tower, including the precast panels on its exterior. The panels needed to be removed and preserved to accommodate the new design before being applied back onto the building. The interior of the new design incorporates a “golden age of flight” aesthetic.


Interior of Punch Bowl Social StapletonCourtesy Punch Bowl Social.


Punch Bowl Social Stapleton will include six bowling lanes, bonzini, darts, two private karaoke rooms, a photo booth, shuffle board, giant Scrabble, a custom-built 360-degree bar, and a variety of gathering and lounging spots. The renovated building will also include a large outdoor space, the first at any of the Punch Bowl Social’s 10 locations, that will feature regulation-size bocce courts, ping-pong, corn hole, giant Jenga, an AstroTurf-lined “pool,” stadium seating, a gazebo, and a beer garden.


Interior of Punch Bowl Social StapletonCourtesy Punch Bowl Social.


Interior of Punch Bowl Social StapletonCourtesy Punch Bowl Social.

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