The shot-and-beer special at Little Annie’s Eating House has been replaced with a delinquent tax notice.
While we’re not ready to write the Little Annie’s obituary just yet, the popular restaurant’s future looks downright bleak.
On Tuesday, the eve of Little Annie’s Wednesday fried-chicken special night, the state’s Department of Revenue seized the East Hyman Avenue business because it is delinquent in $44,551 in state sales taxes from April to August.
If the owner doesn’t make good on the tax bill, it will mark the end of a 41-year run for a dive restaurant that’s been one of the last symbols of this town’s waning funky character.
One could write a coffee-table book featuring all of the haunts that downtown Aspen once boasted — Smuggler Tavern, Cooper Street Pier, Bentley’s, Legends, Maxfields, the Tippler, The Slope, McStorlies and Howling Wolf among many, many others.
Yes, change is inevitable and progress is unavoidable, but if Little Annie’s does close, the sad part is that there wasn’t even a going-away party for this Aspen institution. Even sadder is that more than 30 employees are out of jobs less than six weeks before the lifts crank up.
Count Little Annie’s among some things in Aspen that just can’t be replaced. It holds too many memories, and its apparent demise was way too sudden. Annie’s closing means Aspen will lose another part of its soul. And not even a shot and beer can make that loss feel better.