Thirty years ago this month, Peggy Anderson and Diane Williams opened Annie's Cafe in a storefront attached to a drug store at Eighth Avenue and Colorado Boulevard. "About ten people came that first day," Anderson remembers.
But those ten customers turned into a crowd of regulars and today, the women are still in business, serving up burgers, sandwiches, malts and shakes, and Southwest classics, albeit from a different location at 3100 East Colfax Avenue, the former home of Goodfriends.
"It's like a marriage," says Anderson of the partnership. "There've been ups and downs."
And challenges, like the one that came when the original building was slated for a now-stalled redevelopment. That prompted the move to Colfax in June 2008, where the restaurant has continued to serve the same crowd of regulars -- and a whole new crew of diners.
But other than the location change -- and full liquor license that came with it -- things at Annie's have remained relatively constant. "A lot of our employees have been here almost thirty years," says Anderson. Those loyal cooks and servers are rewarded with a dish on the menu that's named after them -- like the Norma Jean burger, which pays homage to the first Annie's waitress.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
The eatery celebrated its thirtieth birthday with a party last Wednesday, where it served champagne, appetizers, Twinkies and Hostess Cupcakes to the legions of devotees that packed the place -- far more than that original ten.
"Oh, my God," says Anderson. "In all, we probably had 500."
Happy thirtieth, Annie's. Many happy returns.