Zeppelin, an upscale restaurant and cocktail lounge, will open December 26 in South End

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Zeppelin, an upscale restaurant and cocktail lounge, will open on at 5 p.m. December 26 in South End at 235 W. Tremont Ave.

Hours of operation will be Tuesday through Sunday, 5 p.m. to 2 a.m.

Named after the balloon-like airship used in the early 1900s for reconnaissance in World War I, Zeppelin has a 2,300-square-foot inside space with a 750-square-foot outside patio along West Tremont Avenue. It’s in the same building that’ll also house the forthcoming revived Common Market South End.

I love the location and while surrounding hotspots like Sycamore Brewing and All American Pub will continue to draw huge South End crowds, Zeppelin could easily become the go-to place for young South End residents who are looking for a more upscale vibe.

I peeked my head into the space yesterday afternoon. There’s a bar with about 15 seats on the right, oversized leather booths in the center and dining tables on the left. It’s beautiful, and you can tell there’s been a big investment in the upfit. I’d compare it to a cozier version of Foxcroft Wine Dilworth with a more eclectic decor. Another comparison is Customshop in Elizabeth.

front-door-at-zepplin-in-south-end-charlotte

booth-inside-zepplin-south-end-charlotte

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Moss Art handing in the back center of the space. Via Facebook.

Zepplin is aiming for a Soul Gastrolounge vibe — where people will come to drink or eat, or both.

“Zeppelin is excited to provide South End with a much needed upscale chef-driven restaurant and craft cocktail lounge,” said Jonathan Swope, managing partner and co-owner along with Jonathan Tee.

Zeppelin’s kitchen will be led by Vince Giancarlo, a Johnson & Wales University graduate who’s worked at Mama Ricotta’s, Cantina 1511 and BAKU. Vince most recently worked in LA for 2 Michelin star chef Josiah Citrin. Here’s a good profile of Vince from Charlotte magazine.

Both small and large plates will be available, so dishes can be shared (or not).

A few menu items that Vince is most excited about are the Maine lobster mac & cheese – housemade fettuccini , Uni béchamel, nori ranch fizz and bacon poached lobster tail and the Carolina collards & apples – apple cider vinaigrette, lardons, candied cashews, smoked cheddar and sweet potatoes.

Head bartender will be Ryan Hart, and Larry Suggs will act as a mixology consultant. Cocktails will range from classic to innovative, the wine list will be handpicked and there’ll also be wine on tap.

zeppelin-bar-south-end-charlotte

A grand opening celebration will follow on January 5. South End doesn’t have a go-to cocktail lounge, and if executed well, I expect Zepplin will be a hit.

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Ted Williams
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Publisher, golfer, dad and magician (seriously).