Zack Cramer 
Member since Dec 10, 2015


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Re: “For Pete’s Sake

As a former Illegal Pete employee and Tucson resident, I feel like I bring a unique perspective to this unfortunate situation. When I first heard that Illegal Pete’s was opening its first location in Tucson, literally blocks from the house I grew up in, I was thrilled. For everyone that is not in the know, Illegal Pete’s has been an icon in Colorado for 20 years. Pete’s is not only celebrated for its quality food, but because Pete embodies everything that is great about independent restaurants. Amazing food, amazing music, most importantly a dedication to its community. After 20 years, people will still wait in line for an hour because they know Pete does everything right. He, unlike most restaurants, treats his employees like they are family. Given that most of his staff are college students, he was more than flexible in allowing us to concentrate on our studies and was more than generous in providing food (not a cheap commodity for most students). I for one was treated to a lavish Sushi dinner when I graduated (amongst others) because he was proud that we took our school and our jobs seriously. For his non-student employees, who are of every race, they have worked for him for decades because he treats them not as cooks or dishwashers, but as valued leaders.
It should also be noted that 20,000 people attended his 20th anniversary concert in Colorado. Would this have happened if he was a racist? What existing Tucson restaurant would have 20,000 show up in appreciation?
I love Tucson because the term “local” has real meaning and we love our fabled establishments. This is first time, I’ve been ashamed. Before you accuse someone of insensitivity or racism, please do your research. If you want to continue to embrace the monster fast food chains of the world, go ahead. But I’m telling you right now, you should be grateful Illegal Pete’s is finally here. Our taste buds, and more importantly our community, will be better off in the long run.

36 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by Zack Cramer on 12/10/2015 at 8:21 PM

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