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All Sam’s Tavern Locations Remain Closed After Fatal Shooting of Bartender in Bellevue

The local chain is mourning the death of bartender Anna “Maxx” Lopez

Police tape and police vehicles surround Sam’s Tavern in Bellevue after a fatal shooting July 5.
Sam’s Tavern in Bellevue was the site of a fatal shooting the night of July 5.
Bellevue Police Department

Tragedy struck Sam’s Tavern in Bellevue earlier this week, when bartender Anna “Maxx” Lopez was fatally shot on Monday evening, July 5, reportedly by her estranged husband, who was apprehended later that night and is currently being held on $3 million bail. Lopez was pronounced dead at the scene.

Sam’s Tavern — a popular brewpub chain with locations in Redmond, South Lake Union, and Capitol Hill, in addition to Bellevue — closed all of its restaurants beginning on Tuesday to allow its team members to grieve, and they all remained closed Thursday.

”Maxx was a rockstar who brought joy into everyone she touched, friends, coworkers, and guests,” Sam’s Tavern owner James Snyder tells Eater Seattle. “We thought we would be emotionally ready to open today, but after spending the last two days with her close friends/co-workers, as a group we decided that we were not ready. Instead, we are meeting with the entire company today to have a team conversation on how we want to move forward and how we can best honor her life.”

On Wednesday, a King County judge found probable cause for a first-degree domestic violence homicide against suspect Dylan Jennings. The police report says Jennings stole a gun from his brother’s safe a week and a half prior with the intent to kill Lopez after the July 4 holiday weekend, and knew her work schedule at Sam’s as he prepared to commit the crime. Detectives said that Jennings admitted to the murder in an interview after he was in police custody and “showed little remorse.” Formal charges are expected to be filed Friday.

Snyder, along with other friends and family, have launched a GoFundMe campaign in Lopez’s name, with proceeds going to the nonprofit LifeWire, whose mission it is to help end domestic violence.