Denver, CO

​​Tom’s Diner to reopen in summer 2022, with outdoor space

Brittany Anas

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Tom's Diner before closing in March 2020 (left) and construction happening at the landmark eatery in January 2022 (right)CBX Group, LLC

By Brittany Anas / NewsBreak Denver

(Denver, Colo) Tom’s Diner — Denver’s iconic 24/7 Googie-style eatery on Colfax Avenue — will reopen as “Tom’s Starlight” in late summer 2022 following a renovation that’s preserving the landmark eatery’s historic charm and adding an outdoor events space.

The diner, which had been owned and operated for more than two decades by Denverite Tom Messina, shut down in March 2020 amid the pandemic. But the 1967 building with sunshine yellow booths and a slanted roof embodying the futuristic Googie-style architecture has been at the center of local historic preservation efforts.

Two years ago, the diner landed on the National Register of Historic Places, saving it from demolition. A six-month construction project is now underway to revamp the building at 601 E. Colfax Ave.

When it reopens, Tom’s Starlight will be an “oasis in the city,” using indoor and outdoor space. The reimagined concept will serve American fare, have a full-service bar and host events and live music outside, with cabanas available to guests.

Cleveland-based GBX Group, a firm specializing in the acquisition, preservation, and operation of historic real estate in urban markets, and project developer Denver Land Company, have been leading the project.

Designed by California architect Louis L. Armet, the diner, which was originally the White Spot Restaurant, is one of Colorado’s finest examples of Googie style architecture, according to History Colorado. Influenced by the Space Age and car culture, the architecture style became a popular one for coffee shops, diners and motels in the 1950s and 1960s.

Construction includes an interior renovation and exterior rehab, but the building’s nostalgic facade will stay.

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Brittany is a journalist in the Denver metro area with more than two decades of writing and editing experience. She covers travel, restaurants and other lifestyle topics.

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