When Little Annie's announced it was closing its doors in April 2016, many in Aspen felt a pang of loss. The family friendly, burger-and-a-beer joint located in a cabin on Hyman Ave. was the definition of nostalgia. The following year it was announced that hospitality group McGuire Moorman had purchased the old building and would be placing their Austin, Texas-based oyster bar concept in the location after a renovation.
We have been watching closely since construction began in October, (the Aspen Peak office shares a wall), and on Monday night the doors opened. By Tuesday, we were seated in a corner booth, happily sipping down East Coast oysters at 7,908 feet above sea level.
The exterior is classic Annie’s with cleaned up picture windows and flower boxes. Inside, wood beams still adorn the ceiling and the old Annie’s bar has been shined up and put back into place. The dining room feels part Southwest adobe with a smooth white fireplace, and part nautical, with all the classic raw bar trappings, paintings of sailboats, etc. It’s an Austin-born, East Coast-themed restaurant in the Rockies. The mash up somehow feels comfortable and elegant; it feels American. A picture of Jackie O. is printed on the menu.
The menu features several classics like clam chowder, mussels and a monster lobster roll. The happy hour is sure to make regulars and après-skiers/bikers happy with $10 burgers, $8 martinis and as a nod to Annie’s past: an $8 shot-and-a-beer any time for Aspen or Austin locals.