DU - JUNE 2021
The space behind restaurants and in alleys can often feel dark and unwelcoming. With staff using the space during their breaks and guests parking behind the restaurant, we wanted to make the area bright and inviting. The mural created on the front of the building the year prior by Olive Moya brought a message of hope and acceptance to those who might need it. We wanted to extend this thinking to the back, to the spaces that usually don't get attention. This project was meant to illuminate the shadows, and to remind those who see it that they too are important. Messages of "We're Glad You're Here" and "Stay With Us" adorn a normally mundane walk-in cooler in the center of the parking lot in vibrant tones, complemented by the parking blocks below and colorful flood lights above (lighting still in process). We hope guests, staff, and the community take away a sense of hope and positivity.
"I have been painting murals that are all about empathy and inspire empathy."
Meet The Artists
DU - May 2020
This art installation was intended to launch the whole RE:FRESH project, but the full execution was halted by the pandemic. It involved a special collaboration with suicide prevention advocacy nonprofit, Hope For The Day, whose tagline is "It's OK not to be OK.” This message continues to share abright, hopeful, and supportive message during an uncertain time. It launched at our DU location during Mental Health Awareness Month.
Park Hill - May 2021
Our Park Hill mural continues the La Loteria card mural tradition—which began the year after Pete Sr. lost his battle with cancer. The mural explores our new brand colors, icons, and type while honoring the longstanding motif. It provides a pathway through which diners are welcome to enjoy themselves without a formal introduction. What's for the experienced, is for the newcomer alike, and when one is ready, there's always more to explore.
DU - June 2021
The space behind restaurants and in alleys can often feel dark and unwelcoming. With staff using this space at our DU location during their breaks, and guests parking behind the restaurant, we wanted to make the area bright and inviting. As an extension of Olive Moya’s previous hope-filled mural, this art project brings colorful, well-lit messages like "We're Glad You're Here" and "Stay With Us.” It was meant to illuminate the shadows, both literally and figuratively.
Jay Bellicchi - September 2021
Our first location, opened right off CU campus on August 15, 1995, utilized as our only promo a crime-scene stylized photo of a lion about to go in on a gazelle with the original censor bar Illegal Pete’s logo over its eyes. The blown-up, black-and-white image was put over the windows as construction finished inside the building, and it left passersby wondering what the f* Illegal Pete's was going to be...a pet store, as folks kept asking what Illegal Pet’s was?
Sandi Calistro - April 2022
I’ve known Sandi for awhile. I feel like Illegal Pete’s and Sandi moved from Boulder to Denver at the same time… Sandi is one of the first folks I recall having beers with at the old Illegal Pete’s Sugar Building bar back in the day. Sandi is one of the key artists that define Denver’s style, in my view, and has done that on a parallel path with the city as it has blown up artistically over the last decade. Super stoked to see her success and influence throughout Denver. So grateful to be able to work with Sandi, finally.
Doug Spencer - February 2023
Doug has a been a good friend of Pete’s for over 10 years. Pete and Doug connected through the music scene when Doug’s former band, Snake Rattle Rattle Snake, released an album through Illegal Pete’s former record label, Greater Than Music Collective. It was the very first record the label released, and they have been buds ever since. Doug grew up in Fort Collins, Colorado and Illegal Pete’s has always been a hangout spot for him and his friends....
Bree Corn - April 2023
Bree and Pete visualize their stories of growing up in South Denver through this adventurous installation. Guiding you on a journey through the spirit of growing up in the DTC area. This wall of memories brings customers through the most iconic moments from the 1970s to today.