Forty one years ago, Jerry and Deb Sturm opened the South Restaurant, an Englewood joint that turns out a massive board of Mexican-American fare and fish bowl-size margaritas in a festive space.
Now, the family is getting ready to take their concept downtown: Next year, they'll introduce Zi South on 22nd and Blake Streets.
The group has signed the lease on a 4700-square-foot address on the ground floor of the Zi Lofts building, and they've hired Roth Sheppard -- the architects behind nearby restaurant Vesta Dipping Grill -- to build out the space.
"We gave the architect free rein," explains Brett Sturm, Jerry and Deb's son and the general manager of the new restaurant. "It'll feel like a classy, sophisticated place -- but without the upscale prices."
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The restaurant, which will feature 190 seats between the bar, dining room and patio, will feature a menu similar to the one at the South Restaurant, though Brett admits that they're cutting the offerings in half and bringing on a chef to lend new dishes and expertise.
"We're known for our quesorito, and we'll be bringing over our fajitas, which I think are phenomenal," he says. "But we're in the process of writing the menu now." The Sturms are consulting with a chef at the Brown Palace to build the opening day menu, and then they'll look to him to find a new chef to come on full time.
Construction, says Brett, is slated to start in December, after building permits are secured. "We hope to be open at least a month before Rockies opening day," he notes.