Illegal Pete’s To Open Thursday On University Boulevard

Illegal Pete’s is bringing their Mission-style burritos to the University of Arizona campus with a new location in Main Gate Square.

The menu may look familiar to fans of the fast-casual Mexican restaurant located just across the street, with build-your-own tacos, burritos, and salads. Not to mention the strictly all-natural, antibiotic-free, hormone-free and preservative-free ingredients.

However, there are a few key elements of Illegal Pete’s offerings and culture that set it apart from big-name competitors. For one, their living wage initiative and community-focused approach. According to their website, where they publish all of their wages, hourly rates for front-line employees start at $17.11, including hourly pay, food compensation, tips and healthcare support. Part of Illegal Pete’s culture is ensuring their employees enjoy a comfortable life while working a single job.

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This value is reflective of their effort to create opportunties in and around the communities they open shop in, through sponsored youth programs, fundraising, and the Starving Artists Program, which feeds touring artists.

Second, the full bar. Somewhat less notably, but of equal importance to those that frequent the area. Not only can you get a margarita or Corona to go with your meal, but you can also choose from over twenty more varieties of beer and all the mixed drinks and liquors a college student could dream of.

Finally, Illegal Pete’s will offer breakfast. It is a much needed solution on a strip that formerly only offered Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts (Editor’s note: Wilko offers full breakfast and Caffe Luce offers breakfast items) for passers-by on the way to campus in the morning. Beginning at 7am during the week and at 9am on weekends, patrons will have the option to order a breakfast bowl, burrito, quesadilla or tacos with eggs, potatoes and toppings.

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In recent months since the restaurant announced their impending arrival, owner Pete Turner has received criticism from members of the Tucson community for the eatery’s name. As reported by KGUN 9, when Turner came up with the name in 1995, it was intended to imply a fun, countercultural, intriguing concept, while paying tribute to his rebellious father.

Illegal Pete’s officially opens for business at 5pm on Thursday, December 10 in the former Landmark Building.

For more information, visit illegalpetes.com.

Theresa is a copywriter, food explorer and pursuer of all things creative. Find her at theresadelaney.com.

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