Tuesday, August 22, 2023

Big Changes Coming To Max's

Image of Max's in 2021 captured by Google Streetview

Max’s Place, located at 4621 N Clark and one of the last remaining dive bars in the area, got a new lease on life when it was purchased last year. While changes were promised, new owner Micah Hilgendorf committed to keeping the spirit of "Max's" founder Maxine alive in the new bar. 

If you never went, the old Max's was best captured as a classic bar that "looks open, closed and abandoned all at once." (great photos at the link)

But Max's won't look closed and abandoned for long. Max's new owners received SBIF funding from the City for roof, tuck pointing, facade and HVAC work, which has allowed them to begin the rehab process. Scaffolding is up, a dumpster is in place, and workers are onsite. Expected completion is mid-September. 

While the charm of Max's was on the inside, the exterior was a span of blonde brick added to the storefront sometime within the last 40 years. The brick wall, with a narrow window better fit for a prison, is being replaced with a glass and brick windowed facade, allowing some light inside. 

Owner Hilgendorf told us that he tried to save the decorative metal cornice on top, but inspection showed that it was corroded and unsafe. The new cornice will have a band of limestone with decorative brick:

Max's is closed temporarily while the facade is being worked on, but patrons can expect a reopening while construction is underway. 

Also, Max's has a new logo (above) and there will soon be a new illuminated sign added to the existing Old Style sign, which was previously rehabbed with LED lighting and will remain a fully krausened fixture on Clark.

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