Max’s Louden Square Buffet closes after 48 years

LEXINGTON, Ky. (FOX 56) — After 48 years, Max’s Louden Square Buffet opened for lunch for the very last time.

Thursday noon, the queue to get in wrapped around the parking lot, with no empty spaces in sight. Locals were regaled with memories and stories of how the restaurant was like a second home to them.

Jo McFarland was a customer who had been coming for over 40 years. It was his father’s favorite place, even for holidays.

“We had Thanksgiving here because my dad loves it so much. I had two people call me yesterday and tell me it was closing. So I said, I have to go. I have to remember dad,” McFarland said.

Since 1974, Max’s Louden Square Buffet has been open 365 days. It had a hometown atmosphere, with home cooked meals.

McFarland’s husband, Jimmy McFarland, said, “It’s a great atmosphere to come and sit down, eat, have fun, just like sit down and eat a home-cooked meal at home.”

The buffet served all you can eat meals for $9. Some customers said they remember when the plate was $6.50.

“You didn’t feel like you could get caught for your food when you paid for it, you always got what you needed,” McFarland said.

Another client, Hubert Mooney, met owner Max Flannery and his son when he was in seventh grade. Mooney grew up coming to restaurants.

“We met when we were kids, he and I went to school together,” Mooney said. “Big Max bought it, or I guess took it over, in ’74, he had a thriving restaurant business, in the 80s and 90s, and so on.”

In the register, a face of many customers also said goodbye to Qui Byod.

Byod has been checking plates for 25 years and said what he will miss most is “the people who come in”.

“It’s a sad time for this community,” Byod said. “Because Max fed a lot of people at that time, 48 years old.”

Byod also added that there were many changes as to why Max had to shut down.

“I just wasn’t making the money like before after COVID,” Byod said.

Mooney said he was closing due to Flannery’s health, as Flannery is now 85.

However, he understands and wants to send a message to Max: “We are thinking of you Max, and we hope to see you soon”, said Mooney.

On the restaurant window and door, Max left the following message:

Max Flannery leaves a farewell note to the Lexington community on Thursday. (Danielle Miskel)

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