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Opening Report: MAX's Wine Dive Starts Serving in Capitol Hill on Tuesday

Houston-based restaurant group brings its award-winning southern comfort to Colorado.

Though it may be bad news for your waistline, it sure is good for the soul. Max's Wine Dive has recently expanded its gourmet comfort food concept from its Southern roots to Atlanta, Chicago, and now Denver. The wine-focused restaurant opens for business at the former Colorado Lace building (696 Sherman Street) on Tuesday April 14.

A selection of more than 90 varieties of wine, roughly 30 of which are made specifically for MAX's locations, accompanies the down-to-earth culinary experience. The menu consists of two pages – on the left are the classics – bison sliders, MAX 'n Cheese, and the Famous Southern Fried Chicken, marinated in jalapeño buttermilk with a side of mashed potatoes (this iconic dish also comes in a gluten-friendly variety). These offerings are consistent from city to city within the MAX's family of now nine locations. On the right-hand side of the menu, chefs are given creative freedom to playfully develop location-specific and seasonal menus. Denver's executive chef Shane Way, formerly of Southern Hospitality, got inventive with dishes such as his warm and buttery half-baked oysters of the day, sourced from Seattle Fish Co. and lamb curry, subtly made Southern with a side of Carolina gold rice. Brunch will be served Saturday through Monday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., and once up and running, thirsty visitors can look forward to themed wine dinners.

Since its start in 2006, the MAX's Wine Dive concept has earned accolades including Wine Enthusiast Magazine's "The Nation's 10 Best Brunches" in 2013, and Travel + Leisure's "Best Wine Bars" in 2012. MAX's chefs have also appeared on Food Network and the Cooking Channel.