ANXO (AN-CHO) is a common first name in Northern Spain and it is also a nickname for Basajaun, a Basque mythological creature that is something like a benevolent Bigfoot. Having taught humans agriculture, ironworking, and shepherding, Basajaun retreated to the darkness of the forests where he remains a bridge between the natural world and humanity.
Restaurant veterans Sam Fitz, Rachel Fitz and Cooper Sheehan founded ANXO after working with beer for the better part of a decade. Cider offered new and exciting unexplored opportunities that were confirmed after touring cider country in England, Spain, Basque Country, France, and the Pacific Northwest and Eastern Seaboard of the United States.
Nowhere is cider more intricately tied to culture and food than in the Basque Country, and a second trip to the Spanish and French sides confirmed our desire to offer Basque-inspired food. Chef Alex Vallcorba grew-up in Barcelona and vacationed in the Basque Country before working at Asador Etxebarri. Now a veteran of DC cuisine, Alex and his wife Sara joined the ANXO ownership group to complete the project. ANXO’s food is inspired by his grandmother’s Catalan cooking, Basque cuisine, and more than a decade of working with local ingredients in the District.
DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS
Sam moved to DC in 2006 shortly after graduating from Washington University in St. Louis with a BA in Economics and Psychology. He has spent his time in the District working for the best beer programs, including opening Churchkey and serving as Beverage Director at Meridian Pint, Smoke & Barrel, and Pizzeria Paradiso. He is DC's first Certified Cicerone®.
BAR MANAGER & DESIGN
Cooper graduated from Washington University in St. Louis with a BA in History and minor in Architecture. After several years in various positions at Meridian Pint, Sheehan became the Beverage Director at The Big Stick, in DC's Navy Yard. Along with an unbridled enthusiasm for rare beer and cider, Sheehan contributes a keen sense for design.
HR & COMMUNITY OUTREACH
Rachel graduated from Washington University in St. Louis with a BA in Psychology. She earned her Masters in Social Work from the George Warren Brown School of Social Work, and spent a year working abroad before becoming the Assistant General Manager of Meridian Pint. Rachel re her Masters in Public Health at George Washington University.
MEDIA & PHOTOGRAPHY
Farrah is the Creative Director of Dim Sum Media. Her tradition of creating memorable pop-ups with local businesses at the Dolcezza Gelato Factory led her to the AXNO team. Her photography has been featured in National Geographic, BBC, Wall Street Journal, Imbibe, Washington Post, Buzzfeed, Vice, and more.
Alex grew up in Barcelona, Spain and fell in love with Basque Country as a child. He has cooked at Asador Etxebarri, Black Salt, Obelisk and he served as Chef at Hank's Oyster Bar. His dream of owning a pintxos bar has come true, and he is excited to help develop the menu and create new pintxos daily.