MAX's Wine Dive, the Houston-based chain of "gourmet comfort food" restaurants and wine bars, opened its first Atlanta franchise on July 1.

The 3,000-square-foot space is located in the 12th and Midtown area, a four-block commercial real estate development project in midtown Atlanta.

The MAX's Wine Dive team collectively created the interior, which, like each unit in the chain, is carefully crafted to be "fun, funky, eclectic and a complete juxtaposition that captures the qualities of a casual, industrial feel with a top-notch food and wine program." Chef Jason Hall's hip personality and passion for modern art significantly influenced the look and feel of the new Atlanta space, according to the company. Found throughout are colorful, abstract expressionist paintings by local artist Manny Cortez and framed celebrity mug shots complement the restaurant's "edgy, rock-star vibe." A jukebox stocked with retro rock and country tunes reinforces that vibe.

Lasco Enterprises, LLC owns and operates MAX's Wine Dive, whose tagline is "Fried chicken and champagne...Why the hell not?" The company has six units in Texas and has launched a development drive into other states. Earlier, the company opened a Chicago location and plans to open another in Denver.