West End restaurant Chez Max sold to new owner

chez max

Brian Moore purchased Chez Max at 10622 Patterson Ave. (Murphy Business Sales)

A pillar of the local dining scene is saying “au revoir” to a longtime restaurant she helped build with her late husband.

Annie Lecomte recently sold Chez Max at 10622 Patterson Ave. to Brian Moore, a first-time restaurateur who previously had been the French eatery’s wine distributor.

The deal closed March 12 for an undisclosed amount, according to Michael Metzger, a broker with Murphy Business Sales, which worked the deal.

Lecomte and her late husband Alain opened Chez Max – named for their son Maxime – in the Canterbury Shopping Center in 2004.

After Alain, an award-winning chef, lost his lengthy battle with cancer in 2010, Lecomte continued on as the sole owner.

Metzger said she placed the restaurant up for sale about a year ago seeking a personal change of pace.

“She was ready for a change,” Metzger said. “She had been running Chez Max’s since her husband’s passing. She expressed that she wanted to try some new endeavors and do some traveling.”

Because the restaurant remained a profitable, popular dining establishment, Metzger said, Lecomte took her time finding a suitable buyer.

“We had a lot of interest,” he said. “But it was important that we found the right kind of buyer to take over the restaurant that would maintain its reputation and had an understanding of the restaurant business.”

Moore edged out other suitors in part due to his familiarity with the Lacomtes and Chez Max after selling wine to the restaurant through his previous job at distributor Robins Cellars.

“Chez Max is one of the finest dining restaurants in the area,” Moore said. “Annie has done such a great job maintaining this operation and growing its clientele. It was a good investment.”

A Penn State alum, Moore has a background in restaurant and hospitality management. Prior to joining Robins Cellars, he oversaw the beverage and dining programs for several resorts and restaurants, including the Corpus Christi Town Club in Texas.

With the acquisition completed, Moore said he has retained all of Chez Max’s staff, including chef Skip Frazzano, who trained with Alain. He said there will be minimal changes to the menu, and expects to add more wine pairings.

Owning a restaurant has been a childhood dream of Moore’s. He said owning Chez Max is a long-term investment he hopes will carry him into retirement.

“We’re going to be building on their reputation for success,” Moore said. “I’m excited to be keeping one the best restaurants in Richmond alive.”

chez max

Brian Moore purchased Chez Max at 10622 Patterson Ave. (Murphy Business Sales)

A pillar of the local dining scene is saying “au revoir” to a longtime restaurant she helped build with her late husband.

Annie Lecomte recently sold Chez Max at 10622 Patterson Ave. to Brian Moore, a first-time restaurateur who previously had been the French eatery’s wine distributor.

The deal closed March 12 for an undisclosed amount, according to Michael Metzger, a broker with Murphy Business Sales, which worked the deal.

Lecomte and her late husband Alain opened Chez Max – named for their son Maxime – in the Canterbury Shopping Center in 2004.

After Alain, an award-winning chef, lost his lengthy battle with cancer in 2010, Lecomte continued on as the sole owner.

Metzger said she placed the restaurant up for sale about a year ago seeking a personal change of pace.

“She was ready for a change,” Metzger said. “She had been running Chez Max’s since her husband’s passing. She expressed that she wanted to try some new endeavors and do some traveling.”

Because the restaurant remained a profitable, popular dining establishment, Metzger said, Lecomte took her time finding a suitable buyer.

“We had a lot of interest,” he said. “But it was important that we found the right kind of buyer to take over the restaurant that would maintain its reputation and had an understanding of the restaurant business.”

Moore edged out other suitors in part due to his familiarity with the Lacomtes and Chez Max after selling wine to the restaurant through his previous job at distributor Robins Cellars.

“Chez Max is one of the finest dining restaurants in the area,” Moore said. “Annie has done such a great job maintaining this operation and growing its clientele. It was a good investment.”

A Penn State alum, Moore has a background in restaurant and hospitality management. Prior to joining Robins Cellars, he oversaw the beverage and dining programs for several resorts and restaurants, including the Corpus Christi Town Club in Texas.

With the acquisition completed, Moore said he has retained all of Chez Max’s staff, including chef Skip Frazzano, who trained with Alain. He said there will be minimal changes to the menu, and expects to add more wine pairings.

Owning a restaurant has been a childhood dream of Moore’s. He said owning Chez Max is a long-term investment he hopes will carry him into retirement.

“We’re going to be building on their reputation for success,” Moore said. “I’m excited to be keeping one the best restaurants in Richmond alive.”

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Bruce Milam
Bruce Milam
4 years ago

Our group dined there last Week and it is still terrific. I love how they filet the sole at table side. Magnifique!