Dallas-Fort Worth has a little less fried chicken with the demise of Max's Wine Dive, which closed its Fort Worth location on West 7th Street on September 1.
The closure marks the official DFW departure of Max's, a sophisticated casual concept from Houston that specializes in fried chicken and champagne. Max's first location in North Texas opened in Dallas' West Village, but that restaurant closed in August 2017.
Founder Jerry Lasco, president and CEO of Houston-based Lasco Enterprises, said in an email that there just wasn't enough business to keep the restaurant open.
"Yes, we had a sad Labor Day weekend as we closed our Fort Worth Max's location after six years," Lasco said. "We are all crushed. It's painful to see something that so many people put their hearts and souls into come to an end."
"We couldn't be more thankful to the community of Fort Worth for their amazing support and classiness over the years as well as to our Fort Worth team," Lasco said. "They built an incredible work family that truly took to heart the hospitality and spirit that Max's Wine Dive was built on."
Max's opened its first location in Dallas in 2012, simultaneous to the launch of CultureMap Dallas — just two plucky but brilliant Houston concepts colonizing DFW. The Fort Worth Max's opened in 2013.
When Max's arrived in DFW, the area was in the early throes of a fried-chicken trend, one that saw more than a dozen fried chicken restaurants open such as WhistleBritches, Quincy's, Farmbyrd, Fat Chicken, Brick & Bones, Street's Fine Chicken, and Chicken Moto, which does fried chicken with a Korean spin.
But fried chicken has also seem some shrinkage, with closures such as Sissy's on Henderson Avenue.
"The sole reason that Max's shut down was that it was no longer a viable business," Lasco said. "The restaurant industry can be a challenging one and sometimes despite the best efforts of the good people in place, in the end, the business no longer works as a business. Fortunately, we have been able to offer every member of our Fort Worth team a job at one of our other locations. With this said, we fully realize the impact on their lives and that is what makes it so tough."
The restaurant announced its closure with a note pinned to the door, stating, "With a heavy heart we are saddened to announce that Max’s Fort Worth is closed for business. Each of us at Max’s thanks the Fort Worth community for a number of amazing years."