Jay Bellicchi  Bio Pic

The Hill - September 2021

Jay Bellicchi

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? Bringing things full circle with this project, Pete commissioned Jay Bellicchi, accomplished visual and street artist, and one of Pete's first employees on The Hill (and Pete's very first fire, as Jay reminded Pete recently) to revive the lion motif in a new way. This project, executed during the company's 26th anniversary month, was hand-done on a 10'x5' canvas and then replicated onto metal pieces for installation on the facade of The Hill. The colorful lion adorned with the classic censor bar and throw-back lettering is referential, but for those who don't know the history, it's eye-catching nonetheless.

"Back in the day I dreamt up Gee I wonder if Pete will invite me to do something."

Jay Bellicchi

Meet The Artists

01

Refresh Artist Card - Olive

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.

02

Refresh Artist Card - Elli

Ellie Lindsey

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.

03

Refresh Artist Card - Moe

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.

Broadway - August 2021

Transform a rusted woven metal fence surrounding the parking lot and patio to the west, to create a beautiful and unexpected landscape, framing the restaurant and its activity as its subject.

05

Refresh Artist Card - Jay

Jay Bellicchi

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?