Unlawful Pete provides three new places together with the primary in Colorado Springs
After two challenging years of experience, Pete Turner of Illegal Pete’s has nothing but gratitude for his restaurant customers.
Turner shut down illegal Pete’s sites for several months as the COVID-19 pandemic began out of concern for his communities and 400 employees. When the restaurants reopened, Turner wanted to experiment to get through the tough times.
Turner, the founder of Illegal Pete’s, will be looking to do more new things with its popular fast-service burrito chain in 2022. Illegal Pete plans to open three new locations in Colorado this year.
Turner told The Denver Post that the chain will be opening its first Colorado Springs location at 32 S. Tejon St. this June.
“It’s really neat. They’re working on a four-block area over there to make it more pedestrian-friendly, ”Turner said. “Colorado Springs is totally changing and lots of cool things are happening and we’re excited to be a part of it.”
The location will be 5,500 square feet, about 2,000 square feet more than your typical Illegal Pete’s restaurant, Turner said. But the extra space is none of his business.
“We’re just going to try a few new things; everything has changed with COVID in the past two years, “said Turner. “(We) are rethinking our digital and off-premise business … and are concentrating there on digital sales.”
Turner signed a lease this week for another location on the Denver Metro, on 26th Avenue and Kipling Street, right where Wheat Ridge and Lakewood meet. This location is to be opened in autumn.
“Looking at this open space in downtown Denver is great,” said Turner.
If everything fits, Pete’s will grow from 12 to 15 restaurants by the end of the year. The last of these would open on West Colfax Avenue and Utica Street near Sloan’s Lake this winter.
This project has yet to be approved by the city as a major renovation is planned. Turner will partner with Tres Birds Workshop, who has carried out several zippy architectural projects for local facilities. This restaurant will focus on sustainability and employee satisfaction such as providing natural light in the kitchens.
While COVID-19 has challenged Colorado restaurants to the core, the illegal Pete’s kicks in 2022 with more reason to hope.
“It was a really tough time,” said Turner. “Now we stand here and say that we will make it, and we also realize how happy we are to have made it. That’s great. It’s about how we run our business, how we work, how we serve food, and how we get involved in our communities. Now things are moving forward and we are simply grateful for this opportunity. “
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