Pete Turner, owner of Illegal Pete’s said in a statement Wednesday he would not be changing the name of his business, which is set to open its doors in Fort Collins Nov. 13.
Community members, CSU staff members, Fort Collins Community Action Network representatives and local immigration lawyers voiced their concerns to Turner in a meeting Oct. 22 in the Lory Student Center. They found the connection between the word “illegal” and Mexican food to be offensive.
Turner addressed the concerns surrounding the word “illegal,” and thanked those concerned for voicing their opinions.
“Just as the word ‘illegal’ has different definitions and meanings, so too does ‘Illegal Pete’s’ have many different iterations in its branding,” Turner stated.
According to Turner, the meaning behind the counter-cultural name of his restaurant, and how his father helped him with finances, is an important part of his business.
“In Illegal Pete’s 20 year history, I have grown a business that creates opportunity and connection, by celebrating all individuals, from the farmers we support, to the employees that we grow, the communities we do business in, and even more so, the typically undeserved populations that we dedicate ourselves to providing opportunities for,” he stated.
Collegian Reporter Megan Fischer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @MegFischer04.