What’s happening to that old air traffic control tower in Central Park?

The building is set to become a fitting home for an aviation-themed brewery. 

Stapleton, Aug. 29, 2019. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Stapleton, Aug. 29, 2019. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

200707-MAGGIE-DONAHUE-STAFF-PHOTO-KEVINJBEATY-01-sq

An aviation-themed brewery will touch down at the vacant 164-foot air traffic control tower at 3120 N. Uinta St. in Central Park and the three-story building it’s connected to.

The property, which most recently housed a Punch Bowl Social restaurant, is set to become a new FlyteCo Brewing location. It’ll be FlyteCo’s second location (the first is in the Berkeley neighborhood).

“It’s surreal at the moment,” Eric Serani, co-founder, co-owner, and president of the brewery, told CPR. “It’s kind of hard to believe that our brand is going to occupy this historic landmark.”

It’s a fitting choice. FlyteCo Brewing is a brewing company led by pilots, and whose interior décor is designed to simulate the feeling of air travel.

Central Park, formerly Stapleton, on Aug. 29, 2019. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Central Park, formerly Stapleton, on Aug. 29, 2019. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

The building once functioned as a control tower for the old Stapleton International Airport complex, in what is now the Central Park neighborhood.

The airport shut down when Denver International Airport opened in 1995, leaving the complex ripe for redevelopment. In the last two decades, homes, parks and businesses cropped up where the airport once stood, but the tower remained.

The building sat empty until 2017, when food and entertainment chain Punch Bowl Social leased the space, gutted it, and converted two floors into an airport-themed restaurant, which included a bowling alley and mini golf course.

In 2020, the pandemic forced the location’s closure. It never reopened, leaving the space empty once again.

In November, Denver Business Journal reported that the property had sold for $8 million to CTRL Tower LLC. FlyteCo Brewing will lease the space.

Serani said the new FlyteCo location will likely open sometime in summer 2022.

“We’ve driven past the building a number of times throughout the year, saying, ‘Man, it would be cool to go there,’ with no real path to get there,” Serani said. “And all of a sudden this past summer when the opportunity became available… Like I said before, it’s surreal.”

While patrons won’t be able to go up in the tower, Serani said he plans to keep the bowling alley and mini golf course intact, and to add some FlyteCo touches.

“I personally want to have a lot of aviation aspects in there,” he said. “I want exhibits, I want airplanes. I envision it being sort of a mini aviation museum and attract customers to our business with more than just beer, food and games.”

The area around the tower is a hotspot for redevelopment, including several new affordable housing projects. Over the summer, we reported that a Natural Grocers is coming to the neighborhood, in a plot near the tower.

CPR reporter Nathan Heffel contributed to the reporting for story.

 

Weird times

Denverite is powered by you. In these weird times, the local vigilance, the local context, the local flavor — it’s powered through your donations. If you’d miss Denverite if it disappeared tomorrow, donate today.

You’re our superpower

Denverite supporters have made the decision to financially support local journalism that matters to you. Ready to tell your networks why? Sharing our “About” page with your own personal comments could really help us out.

You’re our superpower

Denverite members have made the decision to financially support local journalism that matters to you. Ready to tell your networks why? Sharing our “About” page with your own personal comments could really help us out.