DENVER — The building that houses a Denver cafe with a 40-year history has been listed for sale and possible redevelopment.
Annie's Cafe and Bar is popular with regulars and newcomers alike who enjoy the all-day breakfast and welcoming atmosphere. Peggy Anderson opened the restaurant in 1981, and this could be the second time she's forced to move due to redevelopment.
The cafe was originally located at 8th Place and Colorado Boulevard but moved to its current building on East Colfax Avenue in 2008.
"It's like déjà vu," Anderson said. "We moved once over here and we were able to make it, so another move might be in our future."
Anderson is prepared to move but said she would rather stay put in the current spot. She said the real estate listing caught her by surprise, but she admits she had not been able to reach an agreement to renew her lease with the current landlord.
"We’re doing fine. We really have bounced back quite well from the pandemic," Anderson said. "We’ve got great customers and a great following. I guess, what I hope for is that someone who does buy the building, we’re able to negotiate a workable lease and Annie’s can continue."
Many regulars at Annie's already heard the news by the time they stopped in for breakfast Friday morning. Jim Berryman has been coming to the cafe since the very beginning. He loves that the servers know his order and seat him at his favorite table.
"I hope that they can work something out, see how that goes. It would be sad for us, sad for them," Berryman said.
The commercial real estate broker on the listing, Shawn Sanborn, said he reached out to a representative for the restaurant to see if they want to negotiate a purchase or new lease on the building. He said he's open to reviewing their offer, but he has also received additional interest from people who want to redevelop the property or use it as a restaurant or bar.
"There’s many different ways that this can still happen, but we have to know what exactly they want in order to consider it," Sanborn said.
Sanborn said the Annie's ownership did not exercise their option to renew the lease, so the landlord approached him about selling the building. Anderson said she was hoping to negotiate a new deal, but there was an issue.
"There’s a lot of repairs and maintenance that are needed on this building that, due to my lease agreement, I’m responsible for, and they’re getting to the point of being astronomical," Anderson said.
Anderson wants to stress that Annie's Cafe and Bar will remain open, and if the new owner decides to go in a different direction, she wants the restaurant to continue.
"I’m not closing," Anderson said. "People think that Annie’s is for sale, the business. It’s not that, it’s just the ownership of the building is changing, so, hopefully, we’ll be able to keep going."