Monday, September 28, 2015

MAX's Wine Dive Becomes Latest Eatery to Tank in Midtown

MAX's Wine Dive to close in midtown
MAX's Wine Dive is closing its midtown Atlanta restaurant tonight.  The restaurant, part of Houston, Texas-based Lasco Enterprises, opened in May of last year as part of the 12th & Midtown development at 77 12th Street.

MAX's, a wine bar and restaurant, went through a number of chefs over its short life in Atlanta, including opening chef Jason Hall, previously of Saltyard and Livingston Restaurant.

The restaurant announced their closure via their facebook page saying: 

"After careful consideration we have made the difficult decision to close MAX's Wine Dive in Atlanta. Thank you for being loyal fans and supporting the restaurant over the past 15 months."

Until 8PM today, guests can "purchase your favorite wines remaining in our inventory at our lowest retail pricing ever offered. Come when you can, at these prices, our wines are sure to go fast.  

If you have any questions, please email us at Thanks again ATL, we'll miss you!"

MAX's closed their Chicago location in Wicker Park this past April.  The chain continues to operate locations in Houston (2), Austin, San Antonio, Dallas, Fort Worth and Denver. 

MAX's is the latest out-of-town restaurant to find Atlanta, and midtown specifically, a difficult market in which to succeed.  New York-based 5 Napkin Burger shuttered their restaurant at 10th & Piedmont Streets in 2012, about a year after opening.  Polish restaurant operator AmRest shuttered their La Tagliatella restaurant at  at 8th & Peachtree Streets in 2014, just over a year after opening.  Irving, Texas-based M Crowd Restaurant Group scrapped their plans for Taco Diner at 12th & Midtown last year.  The group already operates sibling restaurant Mi Cocina at 1010 Midtown but given its struggles, opted to cut its losses and not even open a second concept.  Italy-based Piola, a pizzeria, also closed in 1010 Midtown after about a four year run.  

Miami-based Lime Fresh Mexican Grill has easily been the worst performing out of town restaurant in recent memory.  The fast casual Mexican eatery opened and closed three locations in midtown, south Buckhead, and Buckhead between 2012 and 2013. 

Norwalk, Connecticut-based Barteca Holdings has easily been the best performing out-of-town restaurant group. Operators of Barcelona Wine Bar and bartaco, the group now has three bartaco locations open (Buckhead, westside and Inman Park) in addition to one Barcelona in Inman Park and a second opening soon on the Westside. By all accounts, they just "do it right" and each location is performing well.  An industry insider even indicated that Barteca is considering moving its corporate headquarters to the metro Atlanta area given its presence and success.  

What would you like to see replace MAX's in midtown?  Why do you think MAX's, or others, have failed to find success in Atlanta?  What out-of-town restaurant would you like to see expand to metro Atlanta?

Please share your thoughts below.  


Kurt Nelson said...

The reason these places keep failing in midtown is that they don't fit the character of the neighborhood, most of us who live in the area are aware of what options are locally owned and operated versus corporate expansion and try to stick to local chefs and owners. Max's also did not embrace the late night market as anywhere on Crescent should.

Anonymous said...

I liked this place, but every time I went there for a late night drink (I am now a bit too old for Flip Flops) it didn't have a good "wine bar" vibe, which would have been nice for Crescent.

Anonymous said...

Lousy, over-priced wine selection and a very chain-y menu? I'm surprised it kept going this long. Next!

Jonathan said...

What ^ that guy said. A place called a "wine dive" needs to have a great cheap wine selection and inexpensive food for sharing. I'm not totally against a small texas chain, but an expensive mediocre wine selection, expensive food and only one item out of the dozen we tried was better than average. Surprised it lasted as long as it did.