Multilectual Daily Online Magazine focusing on World Architecture, Travel, Photography, Interior Design, Vintage and Contemporary Fiction, Political cartoons, Craft Beer, All things Espresso, International coffee/ cafe's, occasional centrist politics and San Diego's Historic North Park by award-winning journalist Tom Shess
Thursday, November 14, 2019
THE FOODIST / NOT SO ILLEGAL PETE’S; THE GRINGO BURRITO THAT WINS THE WEST
By Holden DeMayo, Dining
Critic, www.pillartopost.org daily online magazine--We love a good
restaurant especially those with a good story and also serve Mexican style
burritos as its signature dish.
first encounter with Illegal Pete’s was last year in Tempe, Arizona when the
team I’m on (San Antonio Red Sox) was competing in a national senior baseball
tournament (we didn’t do well), but discovering Illegal Pete’s cuisine was worth
the trip to the Phoenix area.Since its
founding in 1995 (Boulder CO) there are now a dozen RePete’s in the chain—most
RePete Turner Westword Photo (thanks!)
Pete Turner II. named his full bar restaurants after his firebrand father, Pete
Sr., who in his day was a musician with a taste of the good life.
More on Pete and RePete
to Pete’s musical roots the Tempe venue hosts live music.
of singing different tunes, recently, Pete Jr. just won a major lawsuit against
naysayers who believed the name was racist.Courts said the name Illegal Pete was free speech.Enough said.
Burrito that won the West
let Illegal Pete’s management tell the lawyer’s side of the story. See Below.Meanwhile, we’ll stick to the major league
margarita’s, Baja fish tacos, quesadillas and burrito’s at Illegal Pete’s, 525
South Mill Avenue in Tempe.But before
you read about the lawsuit See Below
for a history of Illegal Pete’s winning of the West.
for me (not others obviously) is having to order from a counter instead of a
wait staff but nobody asked me.Yes,
it’s a management trend to cut costs but frankly the no-waiter concept reeks of
“fast food.”Give me Casa Guadalajara in
San Diego’s Old Town any time for the vibe that real waiters bring to the
dining experience.Click here.
when in Tempe, Illegal Pete’s will do just fine.
Tempe location indoors
Illegal Pete's Origin
Turner II loves burritos. In 1995, Pete opened up shop in a 600-square-foot
space on University Hill, to serve the hungry college town of Boulder,
named his shop Illegal Pete's, after his beacon of moral support: his father,
Pete Turner Senior, who was terminally ill with cancer and passed away in 1997.
Pete Sr. co-signed the loan, and was his daily source of calm and confidence in
opening and running the restaurant. He was also the name and spirit behind
up hearing stories of my dad's good-natured hell-raising romanced and inspired
me, and might have gotten me into some trouble as a younger man," says
Turner. "It was his rock'n roll-ish boundary-pushing that inspired the
name Illegal Pete's, and is an attitude we seek to live out in the restaurant.
My dad loved the name. He lives in every Illegal Pete's in a series of paintings
that include his birthday, 3-31-40."
Pete's formula - fast, healthy food + a vibrant cultural atmosphere - remains
at the core of the Illegal Pete's experience. Even 23 years after its humble
beginnings, half of Pete Turner's lifetime, since Illegal Pete's has blossomed
into eleven extraordinary locations across Colorado and now Tucson and Tempe,
Illegal Pete's, it's about meeting customers where their interests lie. This
anti-cookie-cutter, ever-changing formula enables that customer-directed
sympatico to click. It's the secret behind our customer loyalty.
Delaware Secretary of State refused to incorporate Illegal Pete's based on
their name, the company sued for First Amendment infringement
Delaware Secretary of State settled the lawsuit out of court, paying for the
restaurant's legal fees and changing their naming guidelines for corporate
entities.Here’s what they went
Quesadilla con Salsa y Guacamole
IT’S CALLED THE BILL OF
By Erin Barnes--Denver, CO (October
30, 2019) - The State of Delaware has settled the First Amendment court case
against them made by Colorado-based restaurant group Illegal Pete's, reversing
their previous decision not to allow the company to incorporate in their state
based on their name. In doing so, Delaware has agreed to pay for the
restaurant's legal fees and change their corporate naming guidelines to better
honor the First Amendment.
was an interesting linear elevation of the 'Illegal' word issue we first
encountered in 2014," says Illegal Pete's founder and president, Pete
Turner. "We took this debate to the courts, suing the State of Delaware
for First Amendment infringement, and winning; we see this as vindication of
early 2019, the State of Delaware refused to incorporate Illegal Pete's,
claiming the name had "a negative connotation" and "might cause
harm to the interests of the public or the state." Illegal Pete's issued a
statement refuting any racial or immigration-related connotations, explaining
that the company was named after Pete Turner Senior, the founder's father who
was "a bit of a good-natured hell-raiser in his day."
Associated Press' coverage of the news included a list of business entities
that were somewhat ironically deemed acceptable by the Delaware officials,
including "Illegal Civilization Inc.," "Illegal People Touring
Inc.," "Hot Asian Buns LLC," "Crabby Dick's Delaware
Inc.," "Killer Beverages LLC," "Murder on the Menu
Inc" and even "Dickshark, LLC." The reason for the sudden
stringent attitude towards Illegal Pete's, the company theorized, was the
incorrect assumption that the name was racially-charged.
our current political times, divided and filled with racial tension, our name
has been unwittingly rolled into a larger conversation about race, the United
States, who belongs here and if a human being should ever be referred to as
'illegal,'" reads the statement. "The word 'illegal' in our name is a
reference to the countercultural, to the rebellious, to the very picture of
challenging authority that the restaurants were founded upon. It's in this
spirit that we challenge the decision made by Delaware officials."
court settlement announcement hit the presses in August of 2019, but Illegal
Pete's has waited to make their announcement until final receipt of the cash
a long and hard battle to incorporate in Delaware, Turner is announcing his
decision to remain a Colorado-based entity instead, incorporating in the
company's home state. Illegal Pete's is in the process of re-registering in
Colorado, which will be complete by end of year.
was a reminder that Illegal Pete's always has been and always will be a
Colorado company," says Turner. "Even as we continue to grow out of
state, with two locations in Arizona and even more out-of-state locations
planned in the future, we'll always call Colorado home...except when they're in Arizona."