We reported back in January that South End was getting an upscale, casual dinner and craft cocktail lounge. Now, Zeppelin is two to three weeks away from opening at 235 W. Tremont Ave.

The dinner-only restaurant is located right next to Bang Bang Burger’s sister concept, Bang Bang Bites, and the new Common Market South End. Here, you can expect small plates, large plates, craft cocktails, wine, beer and local charcuterie and cheeses.

“Everything is going to be shareable,” said Vince Giancarlo, part-owner and operating chef at Zeppelin. “We’ll have an evolution in our menu, where it will change pretty frequently.”

This project for Giancarlo has been a culmination of everything he’s been taught through his food and drink journey, without any boundaries.

Previously, the Johnson & Wales graduate opened Aquavina alongside Jay Pound of Soul Gastrolounge, was the corporate executive chef at Cantina 1511 on Park Road, spent a few years at Baku and most recently has spent six months at a two-star Michelin restaurant in California.

“We want to set the stage for the continued push and drive of food and beverage in Charlotte,” said Giancarlo.

The initial menu is set with prices ranging from $6-$36. Some items will be three bites while others are more protein-heavy.

“We’re pulling the same mentality that’s in the kitchen to the bar where it’s very ingredient-focused and fresh-driven,” said Giancarlo, whose restaurant name references the early 1900s balloon-like aircraft that’s filled with gas.

The cocktail menu is still underway. Giancarlo says that since the cocktails are pretty labor intensive, he imagines the prices will be around $9-$18. Behind the bar at Zeppelin will be homemade syrups, infusions and barrel-aging.

The cozy and modern atmosphere will have muted greys and greens accented by golds and coppers to promote a chill atmosphere. Inside will be banquette seating, two- and four-tops and elevated mob-style booths to seat a total of 60 people. The outside will seat around 20 to 25 people.

See more of the interior here.

“We’re not white tablecloth,” said Giancarlo. “We’ll be serving upscale food and drink in a very eclectic and laid back environment. I don’t want it to feel stuffy or that we’re better than anybody.”

As for the ambiance, he wants people to be able to kick back, bob their head to the music and watch silent movies from the 1950s while also interacting and gaining food and beverage knowledge from their bartender and server.

Giancarlo is also proud of his girlfriend, Jen Hill’s, mural work with Matt Moore on the exterior of the restaurant.

Hours:

Zeppelin will be open every day except Monday.

Tuesday-Thursday: 4 p.m. to about 11 p.m.

Friday-Saturday: 4 p.m. – 2 a.m.

Sunday: 4 p.m. – until it slows down

Photos: Sallie Funderburk

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