The Samuel Adams Brewhouse at BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport has closed, effective Wednesday, resulting in 15 employees losing their jobs.
The restaurant was operated by Creative Food Group, a subtenant of AirMall USA, which leases space to concessions operators at the airport.
Roger Schwandtner, a CFG spokesman, said the company's lease had expired, and that traffic at the restaurant — which was in the main terminal outside security checkpoints — was low, especially following recent changes made to some of the airport's concourse entrances.
"We did stay as long as we could," Schwandtner said. "We tried to do the best we could for our employees, to take care of them."
Employees have been offered severance, and at least one — a manager — was offered another job in another airport, Schwandtner said. The other employees will be given priority if positions at CFG's other facilities in BWI open, but there are no current openings, Schwandtner said.
Jonathan Dean, a BWI spokesman, said the Maryland Aviation Administration is "examining the space for future use," but has not determined what that use will be. Dean acknowledged that foot traffic at the restaurant had been low but would not say whether that played a role in the decision to repurpose the space.
Brett Kelly, vice president of AirMall Maryland, said he has been told the space will not be used for concessions. He also said AirMall has a retention program in place with its subtenants and has arranged for the airport's eight largest concessions operators to hold a job fair for those who lost their jobs at the brewhouse.
Meghan Cohorst, a spokeswoman for the workers' union Unite Here, which has been working with BWI employees on workplace grievances, criticized the closure and said union members and other airport employees would be protesting at BWI on Thursday.
twitter.com/rectorsunCopyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun