City restriction designed to protect affordable prices at former Little Annie's space

Apr 20, 2016

A sign on the door of Little Annie's Eating House spells the end of the 44-year-old local's hangout.
Credit Barbara Platts/Aspen Public Radio

Aspen city government is watching to ensure that whatever goes in the former Little Annie’s space keeps its prices reasonable. Carolyn Sackariason reports.

City officials have built on their experience negotiating with business interests in the past. The deed restriction on the Little Annie’s building is more restrictive than other ones in town.

The agreement says the landlords must pay the majority of tenant improvements and it also addresses menu price. Both of those became red herrings in other city-negotiated spaces — the one under the old Cooper Street Pier which remains empty and Justice Snow’s where menu prices are hard to track.

Aspen City Attorney Jim True wrote the agreement with those in mind.

“It was looking at their existing menus, looking at the lessons we’ve learned from other projects and this seemed to be something that could be workable," he said.

The landlords got breaks on the development next door in exchange for keeping the menu at any future restaurant in the Little Annie’s space low priced.

That means four entrees whose average price is no more than $19 for dinner. For lunch, four options that average no more than $14. And the monthly rent can be no more than $9,500, plus inflation.

Plans are to remodel the old building on Hyman Avenue. It could include a rooftop bar and seating area.