Max Levy is the epitome of the idiom about fruit not falling far from the tree.
Like his father, Neil, Max has become an entrepreneur in his early 20s. And both ended up in the restaurant business — as owners of Swiss Chalet in Woodland Park and The Peppertree in Colorado Springs.
“I guess you could say I took a page out of Dad’s book,” Max said.
Neil moved to the Springs in the mid-1970s to open a retail store named Ardell’s that sold electronics, jewelry and household goods.
“He was in his early 20s,” Max said. “He helped his dad and uncle run the place.”
Neil also worked at Hatch Cover Bar & Grill.
“If I know Dad, he was looking for a fun place to work,” Max said. “Restaurants and bars are fun places.”
After several years in the restaurant industry, Neil worked with a partner to purchase Swiss Chalet in 1999. That was the year the family moved to Woodland Park. In 2003, Neil and his wife, Paula, bought The Peppertree.
Today, Max is owner and general manager for both restaurants.
A year of change
Joining the restaurant business was not in Max’s plans, but he had the background for an easy transition: Max loved going to work with his dad.
“As the oldest child, he was wise beyond his years,” Paula said. “Even as a toddler, he loved being with (his dad) so much that when Neil was working at…