Historic Tom’s Diner to be Redeveloped

Tom's Diner Denver, courtesy of GBX.

KEPHART community :: planning :: architecture, Denver Land Company, and Owners Tom Messina and GBX Group LLC are moving forward with plans to revitalize Denver’s historic Tom’s Diner. The building will be transformed into a new inviting indoor/outdoor dining and entertainment venue.

Since the 1960s, the Tom’s Diner building has been a symbol of Denver’s East Colfax neighborhood. After last year’s citywide debate over the fate of the site, GBX Group, which helped preserve the nearby George Schleier Mansion, pledged to take on restoration—true to their mission to preserve historic real estate in urban markets. In addition, to ensure the site’s historical integrity is maintained, the Colorado Historic Foundation will be reviewing the design of the project.

The structure, which is on the National Register of Historic Places, is a classic example of Googie-style architecture. The revitalization of the space will expand upon this historic foundation.

“KEPHART is honored to be a part of this exciting project, which aligns perfectly with our mission to create and enhance community. In addition, our experience in adaptive reuse and expertise and passion for modernist architecture makes this project particularly exciting for us. Tom’s Diner holds personal meaning for many of our staff, and our familiarity with the site and its history will allow us to preserve its unique character while helping craft a bright future for this Denver icon,” said Josh Robinson, project designer at KEPHART.

Beyond preserving a piece of history and creating a meaningful space for the community to gather, the restoration will serve as an economic driver and an impetus for future growth in the area – adding numerous jobs and casting a new light on what the neighborhood could become.

“I am excited to be part of a team that will be bringing new energy and a fresh perspective to the restaurant. The new venue we are crafting with the oversight of the Colorado Historic Foundation will preserve the iconic architecture of the building, while giving the neighborhood and the City of Denver a lively new place to dine and spend time with friends and family,” said Tom Messina, the owner and former operator of Tom’s Diner.

The next steps for the project, which will occur over the coming weeks, will be to review the current concept with the Colorado Historical Foundation and to meet with the City and County of Denver to initiate the review process.


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