There are only about two things that the new Punch Bowl Social Stapleton won’t offer to its customers — one is a swimming pool, and the other is actual airplane travel. When this latest project of the 5-year-old Denver-based business opens Saturday at the old air traffic control tower, what it will offer is all-day food, drink, and entertainment. It will have a 14,000-square-foot outdoor patio with an astroturf-filled “swimming pool.” And it should transport customers back in time a bit to another (teal- and mustard-colored) aviation era. Scratch that. Punch Bowl Social is everything to everyone.
Located at the former Stapleton Airport air traffic control tower, this is the second Punch Bowl Social in Denver, and the 10th in the country, heading into a boom year for the business. Six new Punch Bowl Social locations are scheduled to open in 2018, all conceived from the now Stapleton-based headquarters.
“As a Colorado company growing nationally, it actually meant a lot to me for us to move our headquarters here,” says Robert Thompson, Punch Bowl CEO and founder. Forty-five corporate employees will be based out of the new digs, as well as some 200 staffers; across the country, Punch Bowl Social now employs around 1,500 workers.
This latest opening mirrors the growth of the business as well as the surrounding Stapleton neighborhood. And it goes for the grandeur of midcentury aviation. Spread across two floors and that sprawling year-round patio, Punch Bowl Social Stapleton packs a diner, four bars, bowling lanes, karaoke rooms, and games under one carefully planned concept.
The menu, under celebrity chef Hugh Acheson, usually changes twice yearly, but includes gluten-free Southern fried chicken, a $19 lobster roll, and pot pie. The beverage program is made up of sodas, juices, and fizzes, as well as proper punches, cocktails such as the aviation, and adult milkshakes.
If it’s any indication, unlike similar arcade concepts, Thompson says the majority of his business relies on food and beverage sales, with games coming in at a distant second. The result is unique for the restaurant industry; some patrons will eat three-course meals during games in the bowling alley. Whatever else you fancy — stationary paddle boating in the astroturf pool? — Punch Bowl Social also probably has it.
Status: Punch Bowl Social Stapleton opens to the public at 9 p.m. Saturday and 8 a.m. Sunday at 3120 N. Uinta Street. Check the website for Thanksgiving week and then regular business hours.