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.
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.
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"Oh, my God," says Anderson. "In all, we probably had 500."
Happy thirtieth, Annie's. Many happy returns.