Calhoun: Wake-Up Call

Annie's In, Goodfriends Out

I haven't eaten at Annie's Cafe in years. But I still have fond memories of the great gringo green chile that was the perfect way to celebrate the end of yet another all-nighter getting Westword out the door.

For that matter, I haven't eaten at Goodfriends in years -- although I did down several drinks at its bar last Christmas, while judging the Mile High Holiday cocktail contest. And I have fond memories of Goodfriends, too, which when it opened 29 years ago was the first restaurant in town to feature built-in shelves for free publications. (Before that, 3100 East Colfax Avenue was the home of Pick-A-Rib, shown above, which was not a Westword distribution spot).

I appreciated that nod to our fledgling effort, just as I appreciated Goodfriends' friendly, fern-bar atmosphere. But its sibling restaurants -- first Racines and then Dixons -- were just more convenient stops.

On May 17, Goodfriends will finally close its doors. It's a win-win deal, though, because the Goodfriends spirit and most of its menu will live on at Racines and Dixons. And its space will not be empty for long.

Annie’s Café will be moving in, surrendering its long-time home at 4012 East Eighth Avenue rather than waiting for the site to be redeveloped (it’s going to become a fancy hotel development). With the move, Annie’s will gain a full bar, as well as almost twice the dining room space. Look for Annie’s Café and Bar to open on June 9, the day after the original Annie’s closes.

Look for me to give that green chile another try before the switch. I'll probably stop by Goodfriends, too, to order up a chicken-fried steak (one of the few items that isn't duplicated on the Racines or Dixons menu) and salute the folding of Denver's last fern bar. -- Patricia Calhoun

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Patricia Calhoun co-founded Westword in 1977; she’s been the editor ever since. She’s a regular on the weekly CPT12 roundtable Colorado Inside Out, played a real journalist in John Sayles’s Silver City, once interviewed President Bill Clinton while wearing flip-flops, and has been honored with numerous national awards for her columns and feature-writing.
Contact: Patricia Calhoun