Little Annie’s to change hands |

Little Annie’s to change hands

Janet Urquhart
It will be business as usual at Little Annies Eating House, though new owners are taking over the popular restaurant. Aspen Times photo/Paul Conrad.

Little Annie’s Eating House will change hands next week, but the new owners have promised it will be business as usual under the new ownership.John and Linda Hamwi, longtime owners of the Hyman Avenue establishment, have sold the business and the property to a company owned by Edward Dingilian and the Dingilian family, according to Mike Otte, the restaurant’s accountant.John Hamwi, who managed and then owned Little Annie’s for more than 25 years, declined to comment yesterday. The Hamwis now reside in Pinehurst, N.C., where they pursue their passion for golf.

No changes are anticipated at the restaurant or in its staff, according to Otte. Rohn Fleming will stay on as manager, Rick Meyer will manage the bar, Tom Woodson will head up the kitchen and Traci Minton remains the floor manager. Other longtime employees who are “the heart and soul” of Little Annie’s are expected to remain, Otte reported.The sale, for an undisclosed price, will take effect May 18.The Dingilians have long been involved in Aspen; Edward was at one time an Aspen Music School student. The family has owned property in town and visited for the past 40 years.

Little Annie’s draws a faithful lunch and dinner crowd seven days a week. It’s known for its unpretentious fare, served by longtime staffers on the restaurant’s signature red and white checkered tablecloths.It was Aspen resident David Topol who opened Little Annie’s Eating House in 1972. When Topol was killed in a glider accident over Hunter Creek, his wife, Judy, took over ownership until the early ’90s.Hamwi, who managed the restaurant, and his brother, Paul, jointly bought the restaurant in 1991. John later purchased his brother’s share in 1999 after a court dispute, becoming the sole owner.

The Dingilians are also involved in the ownership of the vacant building next to Little Annie’s that formerly housed Zo’s Tavern and the Huntsman Gallery, as well as the parking lot at the corner of Hyman and Hunter Street, said Ruth Kruger, local real estate broker. The front facades of the former tavern and the gallery are being remodeled. The commercial spaces remain available for lease, Kruger said.Janet Urquhart’s e-mail address is

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