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“Only the good die young.” Such is the instance for three local bartenders who recently passed tragically and unexpectedly, rocking the bar industry and their communities—all who had the pleasure to sit at their bars and have a drink.
Taking a moment of pause, we can all agree that besides the lights and the music and the atmosphere, one of the biggest draws to a seat at your fave bar is the person pouring your drink. And Rolando Pettigrew (Dram & Draught Greensboro), Chris Bromley (Little City Brewing) and Trey Pettis (V Pizza) were those big personalities that brought each of their bars to life. If you ever had the pleasure of interacting with these three, then you know the world has lost a few incredibly good men. Our thoughts go out to all their family and friends.
Here, we offer a tribute to each and ways for you to donate to the families left behind far too soon—and enduring the holiday season without them.
Rolando Pettigrew | Dram & Draught Greensboro
Rolo, as he was called, was an incredibly passionate bartender at Dram & Draught Greensboro. He leaves behind his young son, Mason, whom he loved dearly. Here is what the Dram & Draught team had to say about him after his tragic passing:
“There are so many things that we loved about Rolo, but what we loved most was the special connection he made with pretty much any and everyone… His giving nature built up everyone up around him to allow them to shine. He gave up his space and power to care for his people and create opportunity for them to grow, even if that meant putting them before himself… Of those he loved, Rolo loved his son so very much beyond all others and made tremendous sacrifices to make sure he was well taken care of and had the opportunity to be exposed to what Rolo loved most—from music to culture to restaurants.”
Donate to the Fund for Rolo’s family here.
Chris Bromley | Little City Brewing + Provisions Co.
“He was family to us—and just a good kid,” says Jon Seelbinder, owner of Local Icon Hospitality (Little City Brewing + Provisions Co.) of manager Chris Bromley. From his wit and dry sense of humor to his kind heart, Chris left an indelible mark on his LCB team and all who knew and loved him.
Seelbinder goes on to describe Chris as having “become a quiet-spoken pillar of the Raleigh hospitality community. Often flying under the radar, Chris didn’t always realize how many friends and fans he really had… In Chris’s passing, we have lost a friend who was much too young to go. We have lost a unique soul that we will never forget. He would make us all laugh with his witty and dry sense of humor. We grew to respect his kind heart. We all grew to understand and love Chris even on his “grumpy” days. In fact, that made us love him even more. That is why we will also celebrate his life during this time.”
Donate to the Chris Bromley – Family Support and Memorial Fund here.
Trey Pettis | V Pizza
Trey pictured far left
He’s been with V Pizza Cary since Day 1—after showing up to his interview late in his PJs (!) “with more confidence than he should have had, and a smile that was contagious,” says V Pizza owner Anthony Rapillo. “He claimed the rest of his clothes weren’t unpacked yet, and somehow still got hired on the spot. And that—that, was the epitome of who Trey was.”
Rapillo elaborates, “since the beginning, Trey has been the heart of our store. He is loud, and loyal, and funny. He cared about every single guest that walked through the door. But more important than that—he loved everyone he worked with. He quickly became our bar manager, and was so passionate about his job. … Trey was and will always remain a part of our family. Our culture wouldn’t be where it is without his impact. We wouldn’t be opening a second store without him.”
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