Zeppelin Station is set to open on March 12 and if you’re not one of the many people who will have office space inside, there’s only one thing that really matters to you: the food.
The massive new development features an upscale cafeteria for international street food — plus two spots for alcohol. There’s a lot to choose from, so we’re going to walk you through it.
Did you find the front door?
Good work! This part of town is still tricky to navigate and probably pretty unfamiliar unless you work in one of the warehouses, but you really can’t miss this enormous building at 3501 Wazee St.
Start by consulting the directory.
At the very least, you will understand why there are colored lines on the floor. At the very most, you will quickly and easily navigate to where you want to be.
Perhaps a cocktail at Kiss & Ride?
Yes, correct choice.
First stop: Comal
The anchor restaurant space at Zeppelin Station, called No Vacancy, will host a new team every two to three months, and Comal is getting first crack at it.
The original Comal — a heritage food incubator where women entrepreneurs from Globeville and Elyria-Swansea cook Mexican, El Salvadorian, Syrian and Ethiopian food — is inside Taxi Development, another Zeppelin property. They’ll be cooking up the same flavors at Zeppelin Station for three months.
On to the permanent installations, starting with Injoi.
Asia meets the American South at Injoi (pronounced “enjoy”), created by Acorn chef Bill Espiricueta especially for Zeppelin Station.
That Korean fried chicken you see above can be served over salad, bibimbap, rice noodles or a bao bun. Also on the menu: kalbi, bulgogi, classic and seasonal kimchi, and kimchi fried rice.
Next up: Aloha Poke Co.
You can’t stop the poke trend. This particular poke spot comes to Denver via Chicago — the company’s first foray outside the Windy City.
Fresh, build-your-own-bowl options include sushi-grade tuna and salmon and tofu over a base of rice or mixed greens, with toppings like cucumber and pineapple or Maui onions and seaweed.
Around the corner: Vinh Xuong
You might already be familiar with Vinh Xuong Bakery (pronounced “vin song”) from its two Denver locations. The third-generation, family-owned and operated bahn mi shop.
The Huynh family opened their first bakery in Vietnam in 1951 and, in 1980, brought the family business to Denver. Vinh Xuong makes its baguettes fresh each day, along with its selection of Vietnamese baked goods.
Pronounced “numkins,” namkeens are Indian street snacks. Here, that includes Kathi rolls — which highlight a set of slow-cooked curries like Methi chicken, chana masala and lamb keema served wrapped in traditional flatbread or served over basmati rice — plus aloo tikki, samosas and chicken 65.
Wife-and-husband team Cindhura Reddy and Elliot Strathmann spent nine months traveling through Southeast Asia, India Africa and Europe before moving to Colorado in 2013, working at Spuntino and eventually buying it.
Last stop for entrées: Au Feu
If pepper-edged beef smoked for 16 hours and served on a traditional Jewish rye with stone-ground mustard and house-made pickles sounds like your kind of thing Au Feu (“oh foo”) is your kind of thing.
For coffee: Dandy Lion Coffee
Another project from the Huynh family, the coffee shop with a delightful mascot works with Commonwealth Roasters and adds its own Asian flare with chicory, lavender, coconut, chrysanthemum and pandan.
For dessert: Gelato Boy
Gelato Boy has a very cute story. Bryce Licht walks into a gelato shop in Italy and sees Giulia. Missing his chance to introduce himself, he keeps going back to the gelato shop, hoping to find her. He goes so much they start calling him Gelato Boy and, eventually, he meets Giulia.
They’re married now with two children but in the end — to a customer, anyway — the only thing that really matters is the gelato. It’s good gelato.
Plop down on the stadium seating, which faces arrival and departure screens for the nearby A Line, or climb upstairs to Zeppelin Station’s moodier bar.
You’re in Big Trouble now.
I know I’m playing into a marketing scheme by saying that and I’m sorry. But sometimes it feels good to let go and sink into the warm, numbing embrace of branding.
And speaking of numbing, look at this thing:
If you’re having that kind of night, more power to you. From Zeppelin Station, good night and good luck.