October 24, 2014

The opening of our newest location in Ft. Collins has put our restaurants into a national spotlight. In honor of the opening of our 7th location, we thought we’d share with you 7 things you might not know about Illegal Pete’s, but you should…

  1. There is a living, breathing human being named Pete who started Illegal Pete’s. He grew up in Littleton (go Littleton Lions!), he went to college in Boulder (Go CU Buffs!), and for nearly 20 years has been running Illegal Pete’s. The name of the restaurant came from a book he read in college and is as an homage to his father who was terminally ill as he was about to open his first location.
  2. Illegal Pete’s runs a record label, Greater Than Collective, committed to helping out artists in our community. Greater Than currently works with 6 bands (Ark Life, A. Tom Collins, Esme Patterson, Ian Cooke, Snake Rattle Rattle Snake, and The Epilogues) and 3 comedians (Adam Cayton-Holland, Andrew Orvedahl, and Ben Roy). It’s our goal to help these local artists become national / international acts. Visit our online store to check out our releases as well as Illegal Pete’s T-shirts. Just over the past few weeks, our artists have performed on Conan O’ Brien, The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, and we had an artist’s music featured on an episode of the show, Nashville. Here are a couple videos:

  3. Illegal Pete’s proudly serves Niman Ranch meats. Niman Ranch works with over 700 independent American farmers and ranchers with hogs/cattle that are: Humanely Raised by the Largest Network of U.S. Family Farmers and Ranchers, Never Given Antibiotics or Added Hormones – Ever and Fed Only the Finest All Vegetarian Feeds.
  4. Illegal Pete’s has a Starving Artist Program that gives out of town bands a free meal while in Colorado. We’ve fed thousands of bands even some that aren’t starving like Weezer, Elton John, Dave Chappelle, Morrissey, Brian Posehn, and lots of others. If your favorite band is coming to town, have them visit this link to request a voucher. We do this because as music fans, we like supporting these upcoming bands while they travel through our fine state.
  5.  Illegal Pete’s does something very simple that the other folks don’t do. As a final step, we mix the ingredients in your burrito. Illegal Pete’s made a commercial highlighting this final step featuring our 3 comedians collectively known as the Grawlix. The commercial was filmed in Denver, featuring an all Colorado crew. It debuted on Funny or Die and also lives on our youtube channel. We are considering doing a TV campaign in 2015.
  6.  Illegal Pete’s believes in creating opportunities for children and families in underserved communities and in providing funding to local arts and music programs. We want to be an integral, unique part of every neighborhood in which we reside. We do not want merely to make a good profit, but rather seep into the sidewalk and become a portion of the whole. We recently put together a double-sided sheet highlighting a number of our community efforts. The file is here if you are interested in learning more.
  7. Here at Illegal Pete’s, we pride ourselves in developing our staff and it gets said a lot, but we truly consider our staff to be part of our family. Our managers all started working at Illegal Pete’s in entry positions. We take pride in seeing what our employees do after they leave Illegal Pete’s. Some of our past staff have started some great companies like The Denver Comic Con and Capellos Gluten-Free, Grain-Free Pastas. Being that we love music, we also have lots of staff in some really great bands. Here’s a list (The Epiliogues, Dirty Few, A Band In Pictures, Best Creeps, The Parlor Pickers, Dude Babes, Gin Doctors, Son Survivor, Wayfarer, Sunboy, Jermaine Smith and the Sex Party, The Royal, and others we are sure).

Here’s a presentation we did for some people inquiring about Illegal Pete’s if you want to learn even more.

We just wanted you to know that there is a lot more to Illegal Pete’s if you scratch the surface. Ultimately, we want you to come visit our restaurants and experience Illegal Pete’s for yourself.

October 21, 2014

Illegal Pete’s is a proud sponsor of the Denver Comic Con and more specifically it’s Comic book Classroom (Pop Culture Classroom) where our sponsorship helps kids going through the literacy program have a fun day at the con (Experience the COmix), get a free tee shirt, and in some cases get their comics published. This video shows some of the reactions from the students! We can’t wait to do this again in 2015!

October 8, 2014

Illegal Pete’s is thrilled to offer Denver peeps a fun, safe way to get to and from The Motet’s #Mixtape1975 Halloween shows at the Boulder Theater on October 30 and 31.

For $20 (or $40 if you go both nights), you will get the following:

  • A spot to and from Boulder on a Big Yellow School Bus!
  • A digital copy of the latest The Motet album, “The Motet”
  • #Mixtape1975 party music on the bus curated by Way to Grow & The Motet
  • Beers on the bus provided by Odell Brewing Co

Buy your bus tickets here!

**(1) there is a small service fee on each ticket; (2) ticket does not include admission to the concerts; (3) space is limited, act fast!

September 4, 2014

Due to a number of circumstances beyond our control, we have changed the nature of the Illegal Pete’s / Riot Fest Bus Shuttles. We are now offering a $10 round trip shuttle to and from Riot Fest that would pick up and drop off at our South Broadway and Lodo locations. We are still continuing to offer a $25 bus (with a burrito and beers) to and from Riot Fest that would pick up and drop off at our Illegal Pete’s Pearl St (Boulder) location. More information at the following links:

Denver Riot Bus Shuttle $10

Boulder Riot Bus $25 with beer and burrito

Email music at illegalpetes dot com if you have any questions.

July 23, 2014


Illegal Pete’s and Greater Than Collective are so super  involved in the UMS, we’re pretty much besties. Illegal Pete’s South Broadway is one of the official UMS venues, so we’re throwing a party with amazing music Thurs-Sun {schedule}. Here’s the kicker: we don’t want to deny any man, woman, or child a burrito. This means you can come to Illegal Pete’s all weekend long with NO wristband, no matter how old you are (many venues are 21+). But there’s more! Bands playing the UMS get 20% off food at Illegal Pete’s during the UMS. And the bands and comedians we work with on our label, Greater Than Collective, will be out in full force, so make sure to add them to your personal schedule (and download the UMS app, fer crissakes!). OH! And you know our patio has misters, right? It’s gonna be a bazillion degrees this weekend, so make sure to stop by often to refuel and refresh!

Snake Rattle Rattle Snake
Thu, July 24, 2014
11:00 pm
The Hi-Dive {info}

High Plains Comedy Festival Preview
Thu, July 24, 2014
9:00 pm
The Safari Room {info}

Ian Cooke
Fri, July 25, 2014
10:00 pm
South Broadway Christian Church {info}

The Epilogues Presented by Smash Music Management
Sat, July 26, 2014
4:00 pm
Brendan’s {info}

The Epilogues
Sat, July 26, 2014
11:00 pm
3 Kings Tavern {info}

Adam Cayton-Holland’s My Dining Room Table Podcast – Live Recording
Sat, July 26, 2014
4:00 pm
Adrift Bar & Grill {info}

Ark Life
Sat, July 26, 2014
11:00 pm
The Hi-Dive {info}

A. Tom Collins
Sat, July 26, 2014
11:59 pm
The Hi-Dive {info}

Also don’t miss Natalie Tate from Ark Life, comedian Ben Roy’s band SPELLS, and Chris Heckman from the Epilogues‘ solo set. Put your party hats on kids, we’ll see you at the UMS!


July 2, 2014

On Monday, August 18th, Illegal Pete’s will be hosting the 2nd Annual Riot Fest Burrito Eating Competition. The winner of the contest will receive 2 VIP Riot Fest weekend passes and 2 spots on the Illegal Pete’s RF Bus to and from Riot Fest. The contest will happen at Illegal Pete’s South Broadway, 270 South Broadway at 7pm on 8/18. Please follow the link below to fill in your full name and email address. You will receive an email the week before with all the details of the contest. Please understand that signing up does not guarantee you a spot, but we will explain next steps on that email the week before.

Riot Fest Burrito Eating Competition SIGN UP FORM

Check out the video of last year’s competition!

If you enjoyed that video, check out the article Vice wrote about one of our competitors:
This Man Documented Over One Hundred Burritos He Ate in a Year

June 5, 2014



Maxwell Hughes is the genuine article, a true to form prodigy and virtuoso. Just ask TEDtalks, who invited the self-taught former Lumineers guitarist member to demonstrate his unique two handed guitar style at their TEDxCSU event in March, 2013.

Maxwell Hughes didn’t pick up a guitar until 2002. Ever since, he has explored a variety of stringed instruments independently, teaching himself, and innovating unique techniques. In the past 2 years, he has seen the world as a touring musician, garnered a Grammy nomination for songwriting and performance on the Lumineers 2012 debut album, won 3rd place in the International Fingerstyle performance championships, and continues to gain the admiration of fans and musicians alike as an innovative instrumentalist.

His effortless transition from classic finger picking to two-handed-tap technique are an exhilarating experience for a live audience. His percussive approach allows for a sense of movement rarely seen in a solo performer. Donʼt miss Maxwell Hughes on tour in 2014 or his most recent album, “Only In Dreams,” available on iTunes!

Maxwell is performing at Illegal Pete’s Pearl St Tomorrow night, June 6, so we asked them a few questions.

If someone were to buy you a drink at your show, what should that drink be?

Whiskey Old Fashioned

What is your craziest experience with the band?

6,000+ miles 21 shows in 25 days by myself. I am still recovering from that one.


Marry- Natalie Portman
Fight- Screech from Saved By The Bell (I dont hate him but I think it would be evenly matched)
Hi-Five- Myself after I married Natalie Portman and whooped Screech’s ass.

What is one song that influences your songwriting?

“Wildcat” by Ratatat. As an acoustic instrumental artist, I am constantly looking for ways to make a guitar not sound like a guitar. They create some of the coolest sounds in music and, while I will never sound like that with an acoustic guitar, it gives my brain a good work out trying to emulate it.


May 13, 2014

We are excited to be partnering with our friends at Soda Jerk and Riot Fest Denver to be the Official Bus Partner. Whether you live in Denver, Boulder, or Ft Collins, we will have an option for you to get a safe ride to and from Riot Fest. Additionally, you will get a burrito (or breakfast burrito) before the bus ride and free beer on the bus on the way to the Fest.

Passes for the buses are available here.

The Riot Fest lineup will be announced Today at 7pm here.

We are so excited about Riot Fest, hope you will join us on the Riot bus!

May 7, 2014

When you find a band who you love as individuals, who you love musically, who are committed to touring and working to get their music heard by every living, breathing human being, you just hope that you might have the opportunity to work with them. Today, we are ecstatic to announce that on August 19th, we will  release Ark Life’s debut album, The Dream of You & Me.

One year old and 120 shows in, garage-soul upstarts Ark Life have toured coast-to-coast, sharing stages with Of Montreal, Gregory Alan Isakov, PHOX, The Moondoggies, The Head & the Heart, Mount Moriah, Ryan Bingham, J. Roddy Walston & the Business, Ha Ha Tonka, and more. A mile high rock&roll ocean — equal parts mischief, humor, and heartthrob — they pull as much inspiration from contemporaries like Heartless Bastards, Elvis Perkins, and Sallie Ford as from the band’s enduring loves for Leonard, Aretha, The Band, and the classic campfire singalong. Ark Life recorded The Dream of You & Me with producer Eric D. Johnson (Fruit Bats), and we at the Greater Than Collective will move mountains to make sure as many people as possible hear this album we love.

To celebrate this announcement, we’d like to invite all of you to join us at the Greater Than Social Club on Tuesday, May 13th at Lannie’s Clocktower Cabaret. Ark Life will be playing with their good friend, Kyle James Hauser, and we have an excellent night of comedy as well with Ben Kronberg, Mara Wiles, and Kristin Rand. Cover is $5, the show is all ages, and doors open at 7pm. Please have a drink with us, since you, our dear friends and supportive fans, are one of the reasons we’re all so excited to be working together.

Please enjoy this video from Ark Life’s performance at the Greater Than Social Club last August

Ark Life — “What You Want To” — Live at Greater Than Social Club from Ark Life on Vimeo.

Notable Ark Life Links:
Greater Than Collectiv
Terrorbird (Press/Radio)




A loud and noisy indie rock band, as the term was used back when it had more to do with punk and raw rock and roll and less to do with bland pop, precision, and clean production. We borrow elements from previous Denver-based bands we’ve played in through the years (the Emirs, Acrobat Down, O’er the Ramparts, El Espectro, Blastoff Heads, DeNunzio, Brougham Royale, etc.).  Glasses, grey hair, beer and tight pants….well, tight waistbands. What we got truly epitomizes Rock and Roll.

Blood Boilers are performing at Illegal Pete’s South Broadway this Friday, May 9, so we asked them a few questions.

If someone were to buy you a drink at your Illegal Pete’s show, what should that drink be?

Tonic tappers with a beer back.

What is your craziest experience with the band?

Serving a month long fellowship with Sammy Hagar down in Cabo. We thought it was going to be an opportunity to refine our musical craft with one of the all time greats, but it turned into a non-stop blur of tequila, racing lambos, questionable outfits, ringing ears, and heart burn. Somehow when we emerged from the fog, we had a recording of the songs that now comprise our setlist. Thanks Sammy….


Lurve – Bryon Parker and Aaron Betcher
Hate – All members of the fleece vest army that seems to be closing in on us all.
Bad ass – Danny Trejo

What is one song that influences your songwriting?

Taking It To The Streets by the Doobie Brothers
This songs speaks to the every man, which is who we are and what our music embodies.

When you go to Illegal Pete’s, what do you order?

Big Fish Burrito – Magnificent!