While there are still a few gaps in the market-hall plan at the upcoming Zeppelin Station development at 3501 Wazee Street, at least two gaps will be filled by Duc Huynh, who currently runs Vinh Xuong Bakery at 2370 West Alameda Avenue. Earlier this summer, Huynh inked a deal to bring his Vietnamese banh mi sandwiches to the mixed-used development, and now he's agreed to add a coffee-based cafe to the project.
"Once we signed up for the sandwich shop, they needed a coffee shop, too," Huynh says. "They were going to do one anyway, so I agreed to step in."
Dandy Lion Coffee is a new concept that will open a little earlier in the day than the other food offerings at Zeppelin Station; it will have espresso-based coffee drinks along with other beverages and a selection of pastries and other grab-and-go bites. Huynh says he'll incorporate Vietnamese flavors and ingredients into both the drinks and food, though the full menu is still in the works.
The name Dandy Lion comes from the fact that Huynh is a new dad, and he thinks dads need to be good at puns. He drew from his background in graphic design to create the logo, incorporating a stylized dandelion flower along with the image of a well-groomed, sharply dressed lion.
Zeppelin Station is on track for a December opening. There will be a total of nine food and beverage vendors inside the market-hall portion of the project, along with include retail shops, art galleries, office space and the headquarters of the RiNo Art District. In addition to Huynh's Vinh Xuong Bakery and Dandy Lion Coffee, other vendors that have signed on include Aloha Poke Co. from Chicago and Boulder's Fior Gelato.
Another Chicago restaurateur, Jared Leonard, also recently joined the project. Leonard is known for the Budlong Hot Chicken, a chicken-sandwich specialty shop in his home town, but his Zeppelin Station concept will be a Montreal-style barbecue joint called Au Feu.