As the weather warms, there is nothing better than a cool scoop of ice cream. Luckily, a new member of the Little Man Ice Cream family just joined the party to serve up some sweet treats.
The Constellation Ice Cream took inspiration from and is named after the Lockheed Constellation or “Connie”– an aircraft that revolutionized the mid 20th century. Little Man Ice Cream team partnered up with Michael Koch and Cassandra Covotsos of Koch Covotsos Architects to design the 75-foot replica of the Constellation airplane wing. It now suspends over Martin Luther King Boulevard and pays homage to Stapleton’s history as the home of Stapleton International Airport that once was Denver’s main airport for over 70 years.
“This unique project to build an ice cream shop under an airplane wing has been a challenge and a joy for each of us,” stated Koch. “This is the kind of project that happens once in a career. It took an entire team of professionals, each playing at the top of their game, to put this project together.”
The project ended up facing many pitfalls — taking three years to plan and execute, engineers coming and going and of course the challenge of building the wing itself. Felipe Tamayo Rosas the individual who built the replica wing in his backyard and shipped it to Stapleton in several pieces to be constructed to its current majesty. The wing is a testament to the will and determination of Rosas who faced some personal tragedies but persevered and delivered this feat of engineering.
On Saturday, March 30 at 12 p.m. the new ice cream shop opens with some classic Little Man Ice Cream flavors and four new flavors to tickle your taste buds as well as a special novelty item you can only find at The Constellation. The new flavors include Turbulence — a swirled marshmallow and chocolate charcoal base with chocolate pearls and marshmallows for a bumpy ride; Cruising Altitude — a Speculoos cookie base (the cookies are made in the Little Man Ice Cream factory to make it even more of a banger) with pretzel bites and peanuts; Crème Brûlée — a vanilla base with caramel sponge candy bits dissolved into it and Salted Nutella — a chocolate based with a housemade hazelnut butter swirled within.
The Constellation also offers ice cream sandwiches, like other Little Man locations, however, it has something super special on top of the normal sweet bites — a Baked Alaska Pop. However, unlike a traditional Baked Alaska, this pop is a like smores with a twist. The treat is a graham cracker flavored ice cream bar dipped in chocolate, then covered with an Italian meringue that is torched for a crispy exterior and a wild experience.
The new 355-square foot shop also features five service windows, so you never have to stand in one long line at a window to get your scoop. If the weather is a bit chilly, the Town Center has a fire pit and heat lamps to warm up while you indulge your creamy delights.
During the grand opening, if you bring a suitcase, (and it must be a piece of luggage, not a backpack) you can enter to win a trip to the TWA hotel in New York City’s JFK Airport, which has been transformed from an unused city landmark to a luxury hotel with a cocktail lounge. At 1:30 p.m. you can stand at the wing and receive a luggage tag and participate in a drawing to see if your tag is the lucky ticket.
“We look forward to creating a place-making hub for the Stapleton community. It is our goal to help animate the thoughtful community design created by City Street Investors and Evergreen Devco at the Eastbridge Town Center,” said Paul Tamburello, Little Man Ice Cream owner. “It’s very reminiscent of Stapleton International Airport’s arrival gate in its heyday, welcoming neighbors, individuals and families. We’re proud to represent the community’s rich history and be a part of its dynamic future.”
The Constellation Ice Cream located at 10175 East 29th Drive, Denver in Stapleton’s Eastbridge neighborhood.
All photography by Amanda Piela.