Montrose Mexican Restaurant Expands Into Now-Closed Max’s Wine Dive Space
Cuchara, the Mexico City-themed restaurant at 214 Fairview in Montrose, is about to get a lot bigger. Owner Ana Beaven says she and partner Charlie McDaniel have bought out Lasco Enterprises lease of the Max’s Wine Dive next door. According to Beaven, the deal was finalized on Wednesday, August 31.
That, of course, means the Montrose location of Max’s Wine Dive is closed, leaving only the original at 4720 Washington Avenue. It’s owned by Lasco Enterprises, and closely follows the closing of its last remaining The Tasting Room wine bar, which was located at CityCentre.
As of press time, the Lasco Enterprises website was not loading due to an error, but the Max’s Wine Dive website shows that the Fairview location has been removed. At this time, it and Boiler House Texas Grill & Wine Garden in San Antonio are Lasco Enterprises’ only remaining restaurants. We’ve requested comment from the company’s public relations representative on the lease sale, as well as the future of the original Max’s Wine Dive on Washington, and will update this article should we receive the information.
While this means one fewer restaurant in Montrose, it’s an exciting opportunity for Beaven and McDaniel. “We’ll expand Cuchara, as well as add a private room and party venue for wedding receptions and other events. We’ll use it for our upcoming 10-year anniversary party on September 15, then close it for some extensive remodeling,” she said, adding that she cannot predict when the remodeling will be complete at this time. Once it’s completed, though, Cuchara will also gain a private dining room that will seat from 20 to 25.
Beaven’s sister, Cecilia, is an artist whose contributions have greatly defined Cuchara’s look and branding. While Beaven says that her sister isn’t currently available to decorate the former Max’s due to teaching at the Art Institute of Chicago, she’s hopeful that Cecilia will have some time to adorn the space with some of her signature, Mexico-inspired art next year.
This is the second big development from Beaven and McDaniel in recent weeks. They are also opening Cucharita, a cozy breakfast restaurant also offering caviar service and cocktails, at 315 Fairview. The space was formerly home to Pepper Twins. At the moment, Beaven anticipates opening with a full breakfast menu on October 1, although a speakeasy event to debut its caviar service is planned for September 29. Served along with the caviar are mini corn cakes, corn pancakes, corn flan and corn macaron shells for guests to make their own caviar-filled creations.
Cucharita’s opening celebration (which is the same day as Cuchara’s 10-year anniversary) includes live music performances of “Fly Sweet Bird to the Land of No Return.” Composer Macarena Palazuelos Romero is performing live alongside soprano Priscilla Salisbury and cellists Cony Knight and Miriam Salinas.
According to Romero, the story is about a bird leaving home in search of its wings. Along the way, different natural scenarios that challenge the bird to confront its fears and ego. “My friend Julio Moreno owns a theater in Mexico City called The Vault and created the visual concept for it,” Beaven explained. Moreno will also be in attendance.
Beaven is releasing the performance schedule and details on how to reserve a spot next week. Those who want to be among the first to receive that information would do well to sign up for Cuchara’s emails. Beaven expects all performance times to sell out very quickly.
After the debut party, on September 18, Cucharita is hosting a “Girlie Market” in the new space from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. “We invited a girl from CDMX (Mexico City) whose company is called “3 Hermanas Brand” and artisan Bertha Medina,” said Beaven. “We will have vintage stuff and a dried flower bar by Ponderosa, as well as sell coffees, cocktails, breads, cakes, salsas and marmalades. It’s a way for people to come see the space and be part of the opening.”
Phaedra Cook has written about Houston’s restaurant and bar scene since 2010. She was a regular contributor to My Table magazine (now closed) and was the lead restaurant critic for the Houston Press for two years, eventually being promoted to food editor. Cook founded Houston Food Finder in November 2016 and has been its editor and publisher ever since.