Annie’s Café officially reopened today, June 18, in its new spot at 3100 East Colfax Avenue, and it’s already starting to feel like home – despite a number of kinks that have yet to be worked out, said Peggy Anderson, who owns the old-school Denver eatery with Diane Williams.
“The minute we opened the doors, we were slammed,” Anderson said a few hours after the breakfast rush. “We had lots of new faces and all of our old familiar ones. It’s kind of exciting. There are kids here and babies and it really feels like Annie’s.”
The restaurant, which first opened in 1981 at 4012 East Eighth Avenue, across from what was then the booming University of Colorado medical complex, closed on June 8 to make way for redevelopment in the neighborhood. But growing into the new, larger spot, in the former Goodfriends, has been quite a learning curve. “It’s such a different layout," Anderson said. "For us, that meant reorganizing the kitchen so it flows with our menu.” The waitstaff is also using computers to input orders now rather than “the quaint way” of writing them in by hand.
The new Annie's also has a full bar, which meant hiring bartenders and working out drink recipes. "We feel really good about our champagne drinks and bloody Marys,” Anderson added. And about the new hours: The old Annie’s closed at 9 p.m. , while the new one will stay open until 11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and midnight on Friday and Saturday, to take advantage of the late-night crowd that packs the bars and clubs along this stretch of Colfax.
Although the staff has only had time to hang about half of the antique and retro lunch boxes that adorneded the old location, and just a fraction of the posters, signs and toys, the old color scheme -- green, yellow and plum – is carried through in the new spot.
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And best of all, Anderson said, this Annie's has a big table where singles can sit and talk, just as the original location had a circular, bar-like area in the middle of the dining room for singles, “and they are already chatting with each other!” – Jonathan Shikes