This just in via a Twitter fan:
— Jenifer Abreu (@jenabreu1) October 23, 2014
That took us to this story from The Coloradoan:
The owner’s is Pete Turner and according to the local story, he visited “Fort Collins on Wednesday to listen to a crowd of concerned residents who asked that he change his business’ name.”
The community members who talked with Turner wanted to remind him about how the word “illegal” has a negative connotation. One person told the outlet, “Since I know the context, and I have been labeled with (the word illegal), it makes a huge difference to me.”
You can read the entire story here, which includes other reactions from community members. The story also mentioned that Turner said that the name “is a literary reference to a bar in a novel he read as an English major in Boulder.” Turner also had Latino employees there who had no objection to the name and Turner said that he has even paid “for citizenship for some of my employees.”
The chain’s site says that they “Welcome all humans.”
At Illegal Pete’s we celebrate humanity. We celebrate individuality. We celebrate relationships and connections. And most importantly we celebrate every human’s need for tasty food, stiff drinks and good times. Well, maybe it’s not a need, but it’s certainly a want. Either way, it’s our desire to make each Illegal Pete’s location the kind of place where you can go to celebrate humanity with other humans.
Comments on the chain’s Facebook site have been supportive:
If Illegal Pete’s is making people mad, and it’s a literary reference, and you don’t really care too much, please consider changing your name to Immigrant Petey’s Hand Rolled Burrito Shop.
I’ll still eat there.
Can’t wait to get there!!
Don’t change a thing, guys. Tell the Word Police to bugger off.
I just read the article in the Coloradoan concerning you business name. DON’T BE BULLIED into changing your name. I can’t say I’m surprised by the intolerance coming from Fort Collins.
Here are some Twitter reactions:
@illegal_petes My favorite burrito restaurant in the world, and I have lived in LA and SF. But DO NOT get bullied into changing your name.
— Davante Richardson (@realtruthsorry) October 23, 2014
— Peter Glenn (@pressplaytogo) October 23, 2014
— Brand (@theoriginalbpd) October 23, 2014
— GLENN (@GCGATOR24) October 23, 2014
I'm very liberal & even I am offended by this 'protest'. This is what drives people away from real progress. http://t.co/Qb2Y5Vxsr5
— Luke Henderson (@SlukeWriter) October 23, 2014