Illegal Pete's taking over Mama's Cafe space, also opening Fort Collins location

Illegal Pete's taking over Mama's Cafe space, also opening Fort Collins location
Mark Manger

The folks behind Illegal Pete's just signed the lease on the former Mama's Cafe space at 2001 East Colfax Avenue, which was an IHOP before that (and a radioactive one, since it was built on old radium tailings that have since been cleaned up). But that's just one of the moves Illegal Pete's is making this year: The homegrown company has plans to open two more locations, including a spot in Fort Collins and the first out-of-state Illegal Pete's, in Tucson.

See also: Photos of Illegal Pete's, now open on South Broadway

Virgil Dickerson, marketing director for Illegal Pete's, says the Colfax location could possibly open by the end of the year, but will more likely be finished in January. Like the South Broadway spot, which celebrates its one-year anniversary in June, this Illegal Pete's will have a huge patio and live music.

Dickerson says they plan to keep the building's A-frame exterior, so the Colfax Pete's will look different from other Illegal Pete's locations. (And it goes without saying that it will look different from the Pete's Kitchen across the street.)

The Fort Collins restaurant is slated to open in late August in a former Goodwill building in Old Town that's 10,000 square feet; Dickerson says they hope to lease the back half of the space to a brewery. This spot will have a 1,500 square-foot, rooftop patio.

The first Illegal Pete's opened on the Hill in Boulder in 1995 and a second Boulder spot opened three years later. The first Denver location opened in 2001 on the 16th Street Mall; in addition to the South Broadway hotspot, there are also stores near the University of Denver and the Denver Tech Center.

Given the Colfax location's proximity to music venues, that Illegal Pete's will likely be a prime spot for the company's Soundcheck program: Anyone who comes in with a same-day concert ticket stub and buys an adult entrée gets a free draft beer.

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