It's been a big month for the Illegal Pete's chain -- and it's not over yet. Two weeks ago, founder Pete Turner opened his first location in Fort Collins -- after a complaint over the Illegal Pete's name made national news. This morning, Turner will close the doors on the original Illegal Pete's location, which he opened almost twenty years ago in Boulder, and unlock the doors of a brand-new, bigger Illegal Pete's around the corner. See also: Pete Turner on Illegal Pete's, Community and the Fort Collins Controversy
The new place is at 1124 13th Street, an address previously occupied by Abo's, Teresa's Pizza and, back in the '80s, Round the Corner Restaurant. Illegal Pete's now has seven stores in the metro area; next year, Turner will venture south, opening a restaurant in Tucson by the University of Arizona.
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Turner planned a seamless transition between the oldest and newest locations; the original spot kept operating right up through the end of service last night, and the new store opened this morning. While Turner won't miss the cramped confines of his first store, which he opened soon after graduating the University of Colorado, he's taking a lot of memories with him. His favorite? "Sitting with my dad, Pete, eating a meal at one of the three original tables right when we opened, him with a big smile on his face and me thinking, 'What the hell have I gotten myself into?' I'll continue to miss sitting there with him. I always have."