Find Grit and Grits at Max's Wine Dive

There's a new dive in town
Find Grit and Grits at Max's Wine Dive

A new restaurant in town has the audacity to ask “Fried Chicken and Champagne, why the hell not?” It’s a good question with a tasty answer.

Max’s Wine Dive is a concept from Jerry and Laura Lasco who began in the restaurant business in Texas in the mid-2000s. The Lasco’s had opened The Tasting Room in Houston and what started as a 900-square foot “closet” is now the fifth largest wine bar in the world. While they didn’t mean for the place to be “stuffy,” it sort of turned out that way. They wanted to create a new place modeled after their favorite gritty wine bars in New York City, a more relaxed atmosphere. In 2008, they opened Max’s, named for their 12-year-old son.

Jerry, a former airline pilot, attended the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, and his wife Laura was from Denver and went to Denver University Law School. With these ties to the Mile High City, they opened a Max’s in the Capitol Hill neighborhood in April.

The interesting thing about Max's menu is that there are two sides. The Classic Side contains all the southern classics that are available at all nine Max’s restaurants around the country. Items like the Famous Southern Fried Chicken, Shrimp and Grits and the Fried Egg Sandwich. The other side is the Chef’s Side and features dishes that are unique to each location. In Denver, that means Colorado Striped Bass and Brazed Short Ribs. Guests can pair these dishes with wines from both around the country and around the world.

Max’s features over 100 wines, 20 of them considered “distinctive,” which is wine speak for hard to get. The wines range from Pinot Grigios and Rosés to “Bad Ass” Reds and a list of 15 Bubblies. Many of them are available by the glass, however, the restaurant will open any bottle of wine as long as there is at least a two-glass commitment at the table. Ask a server for details.

Sunday brunch features a variety of sparkling wine mimosas. The Wine Dive Mimosa features sparkling wine with a choice of either orange or grapefruit juice for $5 by the glass or $25 by the carafe. The Max’d Out Mimosa upgrades the bubbly to Argam Cava from Spain for $8 and the Mimosas to the Max allows the bruncher to choose a bottle from the mimosa menu and the bar will provide the juice so guests can create their own “luxury” mimosa. Max’s also has a seasonal fruit Sangria and beer drinkers can enjoy a Beermosa featuring Avery’s White Rascal and orange juice for $5. Brunch is from 10 AM to 3 PM.

For those who prefer to drink grains instead of grapes, Max’s has six local brews on tap including Great Divide Colette, Avery IPA and Face Down Brown Ale from Telluride.  

Happy Hour at Max’s is Monday through Friday from 4 PM until 6 PM, and the late night happy hour starts at 9:30 PM. Enjoy $5 wines by the glass, select wines by glass 50% off and $3 IPAs and Colettes.

Max's Wine Dive, 696 Sherman St.; 303-593-2554

Photos by Carrie Dow


Tags: Beer, brunch, Dinner, Wine
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