Little Annie’s bustles again | AspenTimes.com

Little Annie’s bustles again

Abigail Eagye

Bartender Doug Greely pours shots for Aspen local Jonathan Feldman and his friends Wednesday, the first night after the reinstatement of Little Annie's liquor license. (Jordan Curet/The Aspen Times)

For a month, orders of Shirley Temples echoed through the bar. But Wednesday night, patrons could barely hear one another over the blaring music and the din of their own boisterous conversation.That’s right. Little Annie’s is back in business. Well, technically, it was never out of business, but alcohol went on hiatus at the popular locals’ joint after the state suspended the restaurant’s liquor license.”There’s been great service all month, and now you can’t get a bartender to save your soul,” joked Steven Bruening. Bruening and his buddy Jonathan Feldman, regulars at Annie’s, were glad to see the bartenders hustling to pour beer again. By 8 p.m., Feldman said, the two had had “entirely too many beers” after a month of “entirely too many iced teas.””There was a gaping hole in my soul,” Feldman said before downing his third car bomb.The two were quick to protect their beloved bar, however, fearing it might lose its liquor license again. They insisted neither one would have to drive. Feldman lives a block and a half away, and Bruening said his “girlfriend’s dumb enough to come get me,” although he wasn’t sure he’d still have a girlfriend this morning.

Bartender Dave Boudreau stirred up a little drama of his own after losing what Bruening called “the worst bet in the history of bets.” Boudreau bet Denver Broncos quarterback Jake Plummer would be benched after six or seven weeks based solely on performance. The payoff? The diehard Patriots fan had to sport Plummer’s jersey all night.

Among the crowd packed into the alleyway next to the bar was county commissioner candidate and City Councilwoman Rachel Richards, who turned out to tip back a drink in honor of the restaurant’s return to normal business.

“They’re one of the best sports bars going, and now that they have beer, they’re a real sports bar again,” she said.Waitresses Colleen Meehan and Carol Contreras were glad for the return business. The liquor license suspension took a toll on nighttime tips, although they said lunches remained good.Manager Rick Meyer agreed the restaurant took a slight hit in the short term, but he said the owners “have taken care of us a little bit,” and he was glad the regulars stuck by them in the interim.

“They told us they were going to be here for us the whole time, and they were,” he said.The staff at Little Annie’s is glad to return the favor. They’ll be on hand to serve you during tonight’s top-10 matchup between Louisville and West Virginia.Abigail Eagye’s e-mail address is abby@aspentimes.com

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