Punch Bowl Social Founder Robert Thompson unveils Punch Bowl Social Stapleton. Restaurant and entertainment complex will be housed in the iconic Stapleton Airport control tower.

(Photo: CPR/Nathan Heffel)

More than 20 years after the last plane left Denver’s Stapleton Airport, its former control tower will become a dining and entertainment complex called Punch Bowl Social Stapleton. A grand opening is slated for the first half of 2016.

Plans for the building include a bowling alley, a cocktail bar, as well as dining service similar to Punch Bowl Social Denver. Robert Thompson, founder of Punch Bowl Social said he'll preserve the exterior of the structure and relocate the company’s headquarters to the 3rd floor of the building.

“As a company, we are intentional about seeking out locations that have historic roots but need a new purpose. There’s a lot of interest in seeing the tower preserved and we intend to retain the character that’s so familiar and appealing to locals and visitors alike,” Thompson said.

Thomson said he expects capacity to be around 600 people and will expand the footprint of the tower building to approximately 5,000 square feet also developing two additional acres around the tower.

No public funds were used to secure the building, and Thompson said there were also no incentives accepted.

But it's uncertain if the public will be allowed to access the observation deck of the Stapleton tower. Thompson said Monday that the process could be cost prohibitive.