There's never a good time for a bar to lose key staff members, but Meridian Pint is getting hit harder than most. As the Columbia Heights beer bar plans for the summer opening of its Brookland location, Brookland Pint, and the flurry of beer events surrounding May's SAVOR Craft Beer Festival, it's also preparing to say goodbye to beer director Sam Fitz, assistant general manager Rachel Fitz (Sam's sister) and cellarman Tim Prendergast, all of whom will leave by the end of the month.
Sam Fitz and Prendergast haven't announced where they're heading. Rachel Fitz is leaving the restaurant business to return to work in public health.
"I'd been thinking about it for a long time," Sam Fitz explained in a phone interview. He decided "it wouldn't be fair to everyone" working on Brookland Pint and at Meridian Pint if his heart "wasn't in it … I felt like it's my time to go." He described the split as "leaving on good terms."
Sam Fitz doesn't have another job lined up at the moment, but he has talked to friends about opportunities, and hopes to own his own bar down the road.
Meridian Pint owner John Andrade said he was "disappointed," but understood that his employees wanted to try their hands at other things. He's in the process of interviewing candidates for managerial and beer-related jobs for both the Meridian and Brookland Pints.