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Sale Of The Second Glass To Make Way For New Concept In South Front District

By Jessica Maurer, posted May 14, 2024
The Second Glass at 1540 S. Second St. is expected to become South Front Tavern. (File photo)
The Second Glass, a fixture on the South Front District dining scene since 2018, has been sold.  

Terry Espy, president of MoMentum Companies, represented both Celeste Glass, the seller of The Second Glass, and the buyer, Mark Zecher, in the transaction. 

Zecher is a chef by trade and has owned and operated a diverse range of concepts across the country over the past 30 years. Most recently, he served as general manager of Oceanic restaurant in Wrightsville Beach. Though he describes himself as a restaurateur rather than a chef, he is always very involved in creating menus and sourcing food for his restaurants. His concept for 1540 S. Second St. is South Front Tavern, a love letter to regional American cuisine with world-class service.   

Inspiration for the concept comes from his time in cities such as New Orleans, Santa Fe, Denver, Baltimore and New York City. Guests can expect to see a Gumbo Ya-Ya inspired by his time at Mr. B’s Bistro in New Orleans, as well as a slow-cooked short rib chili and a play on paella with andouille sausage and local seafood. The bar will feature a curated selection of local craft beers on tap alongside a carefully chosen all-American wine list and craft cocktails.
  
“I love creating craft cocktails and developing dishes that are well balanced and have a great depth of flavor from high-quality ingredients,” Zecher said. "And consistency is key - it’s something I’m very insistent upon.”
 
Espy said Zecher is excited to share his passion for food and mixology and to begin building connections with the community and his staff. She believes his expertise will continue to enhance the reputation of Wilmington as a market that is committed to the success of independently owned restaurants.

Zecher describes the ambiance of South Front Tavern as industrial-chic and envisions it becoming a vibrant gathering space for the community. He plans to play off the exterior architecture of the South Front development and bring the industrial theme indoors by incorporating corrugated steel, steel beams and shelving, wire mesh and reclaimed wood. The space will also feature custom-made lighting features indoors and on the patio where Zecher plans to warm up the space with more lighting and lots of plants.
  
Construction will begin immediately, and the restaurant is expected to open on Aug. 1.  Zecher is leasing the space from South Front District developer Tribute.

Celeste Glass, who founded The Fortunate Glass on South Front Street in 2012 before selling in 2017 to begin work on The Second Glass, has not yet shared her next steps and did not immediately respond to requests for comment. She did offer the following statement in a release from MoMentum Companies: 

”I have loved my years of operation in the South Front District and will certainly miss my staff, neighboring business owners and loyal customers. I am totally confident that Mark Zecher will be a great asset to the market.” 

Zecher said he is committed to being involved in the Wilmington community and collaborating with organizations such as the Downtown Business Alliance and Wilmington Downtown Inc.  

“With all of the positive national press Wilmington has garnered recently, such as Southern Living’s Top Growing Southern City to Yelp’s Top Ten Foodie Destinations, there couldn’t be a better time to open South Front Tavern,” Zecher said.
  
Follow South Front Tavern on social media for more details and updates on the grand opening. 
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