Beverage director Michael Huebner and bar manager Lana Gailani, both Chilled 100 members, are set to oversee two new bar concepts at Zeppelin Station in Denver, Colorado.
Denver’s Zeppelin Station has announced two highly anticipated bar concepts: Kiss + Ride, a casual watering hole that will be located on the lower level, and Big Trouble, which will have an East-meets-West vibe and be located on the mezzanine. Check out what Lana (who’s known for her time spent behind some of New York’s most well-respected bars, including Seamstress, Pouring Ribbons, and Holiday Cocktail Lounge) tells Chilled about Denver’s two newest hotspots.
Tell us about Kiss + Ride and Big Trouble.
Kiss + Ride and Big Trouble will be the two bars of Zeppelin Station, which is a market hall next to the 38th & Blake train station in the RiNo arts district. With that in mind, Kiss + Ride will be a more casual, fast-paced bar where commuters and travelers can have a quick drink on their way to or from downtown or the airport, or anywhere in between.
As a market hall, this is a space for people to meet and mingle, and this bar will support that comfortable, casual, fluid vibe. The name “Kiss + Ride” comes from a train station drop-off point. Big Trouble will be more cocktail-focused, more of a dark and moody space in which to lose track of time. The cocktails will lean on Asian ingredients and those from the tropics, as we’re looking for an indulgent, escapist vibe without going traditionally Tiki.
Describe the cocktail menus for each venue.
As for the menus, Kiss + Ride will feature boilermakers, bottled cocktails, and low-ABV options, providing something for people in a hurry as well as those looking to linger all day. There will be a selection of morning cocktails also, as an appreciated but often overlooked category. Big Trouble, as mentioned above, will be dark and tropical, a bit more sophisticated and luxurious. There, we will focus on more unusual ingredients and techniques.
What was the inspiration for each cocktail program?
Kiss + Ride was inspired in part by European rail stations, as places of coming together and departure. Big Trouble developed as we realized that many of the food hall spaces would be occupied by Asian cuisine, and we were all excited to work with some of those flavors and build working relationships with the talented chefs around us.
Tell us a bit about Denver’s cocktail scene.
As Denver is growing rapidly with citizens moving in from all over the country, the influences on the food and drink scene are expanding as well. It’s a very exciting time where people are going out more, and they’re looking to be more adventurous. In some of the larger cities, people can feel jaded, but here there’s an energy and excitement that we’re very happy to be a part of.
What are you looking forward to the most from these two venues?
As a market hall, Zeppelin Station will have several food stalls, coffee and gelato, and two bars with very different personalities. In this way, there will be a bit of something for everyone. This makes it easy to bring together groups of people who may have divergent interests and enable everyone to have a great time. We look forward to being a space for the community to come together in a neighborhood that is still developing, as well as a spot for travelers and visitors to rest a while and get a taste of what Denver has to offer. We want to provide a quality experience, but not take ourselves too seriously—it’s about enjoying the journey just as much as the destination.
For more information, visit ZeppelinStation.com.