Bologna Sandwiches & Battleship at Punch Bowl Social in Stapleton

We are all a bit nostalgic right now. When “South Park” does a Member Berries episode, you know it’s true.

“Member the 90s?”

“I member.”

Courtesy photograph by Photographer Amber Boutwell

Enter, Punch Bowl Social. This is a place that provides Gen X with everything they remember loving from the “good old days” and Millennials love it too because it’s all so rad.

Punch Bowl Social is a Colorado company, in fact, their Stapleton location, just one-year-old, is the headquarters of this growing brand. There are 15 stores spread out across the country. I first encountered Punch Bowl Social five years ago, at their Broadway location in Denver. Unbeknownst to me, this was their first location, opened six years ago.

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Each location is has a different theme, embracing the space they inhabit and the community they serve. For instance, the new Punch Bowl Social in San Diego highlights the building’s boxing heritage. The building is the former Coliseum Athletic Club, home to many legendary boxing matches during the Golden Age of Boxing (see full article here).

Bologna Sandwiches & Battleship at Punch Bowl Social in Stapleton. Cocktail, Photo by Heidi Kerr-Schlaefer
Cocktail and appetizer, Photo by Heidi Kerr-Schlaefer

The company headquarters is located at the site of the old Stapleton Airport control tower. I landed at Stapleton International Airport in the mid-1990s to attend a youth camp in Fort Collins. Ryan, who grew up in the Denver area, remembers the old airport fondly. For those who don’t remember, it had a runway over I-70.

Punch Bowl Social Stapleton has embraced its former airport location and the original control tower which soars above the building. The interior design pays homage to Stapleton airport with many authentic touches including the super 60s-looking paneling of the building that was saved and added to the inside architecture of Punch Bowl Social. There are airplanes everywhere; on walls and as railing decoration.

Bologna Sandwiches & Battleship at Punch Bowl Social in Stapleton. Bathroom stall door, by Heidi Kerr-Schlaefer
Bathroom stall door, Photo by Heidi Kerr-Schlaefer

People have donated old pieces of the airport to Punch Bowl Social including the outside Denver sign near the “pool” area. Be sure to check out the huge outdoor space when you visit; it’s a clever as it is ginormous.

Bologna Sandwiches & Battleship at Punch Bowl Social in Stapleton. Board Games, Photo by Heidi Kerr-Schlaefer
Games, Photo by Heidi Kerr-Schlaefer

At 32,000 square feet, including the patios, like most locations, this one features bowling lanes, shuffleboard, karaoke rooms, bocce courts, arcade games and lots of board games and things like wall Scrabble (I’m not kidding. Writers will love it). A party here would be a dream, and lots of companies are holding and have held, holiday parties at Punch Bowl Social.

Bologna Sandwiches & Battleship at Punch Bowl Social in Stapleton (HeidiTown) bowling ally shot by Amber Boutwell
Bowling alley, Photo by Amber Boutwell

You might think that all the attention on gaming and decor must mean that the food quality has been overlooked, but this is not the case. In fact, the menu at Punch Bowl Social is outstanding if not a bit nostalgic.

In fact, the bologna sandwich is an item that’s not only delicious, but it’s also one of the owner’s favorites (as indicated on the menu). And as an aside, the owner, Robert Thompson, has his office at the Stapleton location.

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I indulged in the bologna sandwich during our visit and, to pretend to be healthy, ordered the butter lettuce side salad. Ryan ordered the chicken fried chicken entree, which was unusual for him but he said he is getting it next time he visits. That’s high praise from my husband who never says much about food unless it’s dessert.

Bologna Sandwiches & Battleship at Punch Bowl Social in Stapleton. The Wolf, by Heidi Kerr-Schlaefer
The Wolf, Photo by Heidi Kerr-Schlaefer

And speaking of dessert, order dessert at Punch Bowl Social. We split an Almond Joy Milkshake and while I haven’t had the candy bar in years, I’m pretty sure it tasted just like it. You can split the milkshake with your honey and at just $6, this is a bargain.

Bologna Sandwiches & Battleship at Punch Bowl Social in Stapleton. Milkshake, Photo by Heidi Kerr-Schlaefer
Milkshakes, Photo by Heidi Kerr-Schlaefer

While Punch Bowl Social Stapleton has multiple bar areas, kids can come in and play until the place is 21+ after 10 p.m.

Bologna Sandwiches & Battleship at Punch Bowl Social in Stapleton (HeidiTown) diner shot by Amber Boutwell
Diner, Photo by Amber Boutwell

If you are looking for a location for a birthday party, a new place for date night, or simply a place to take the family for a good meal, Punch Bowl Social has got all the bases covered.

Thank you to Punch Bowl Social for being such a cool Colorado company and for inviting us to your Stapleton location to explore and eat amazing food.

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