Efforts to force Illegal Pete’s restaurant to change 19-year-old name spark anger

The PC police are once again showing their idea of “tolerance,” this time by inundating a small business with protests, hate calls and demands that its name be changed.

Illegal Pete’s, founded in 1995, serves Mexican food based on the style of the San Francisco Mission District and is set to open a new location in its growing chain in Old Fort Collins, Colo., reported the Denver Post.

But the plan has run into criticism that the restaurant name is a slur aimed at illegal immigrants.

Owner Pete Turner met with protestors on Wednesday to address their concerns. Turner said he welcomed the meeting with the demonstrators but questioned the timing.

“Let me be very clear,” he said. “We are three weeks away from opening. That news has been on the front pages twice this year. Maybe they weren’t paying attention? It’s a little difficult, being asked to change a major thing in my business three weeks before we open.”

While both sides say the meeting was respectful, it ended with a threat, according to Turner.

‘Let us know whether we should be there to protest or celebrate on Nov. 13,’ ” Turner recalled immigration lawyer Kim Medina saying.

Turner has vowed to decide whether or not to change the name within two weeks. However, that was not good enough for some malcontents.

“We have been getting emails comparing me to the KKK,” Turner told the Post.

“In Fort Collins there is a long history of racial discrimination,” Medina said. “In the downtown area not too long ago, there was signs that said ‘Whites only, no dogs or Mexicans.’ ”

Turner was quick to assert that the name of his business has nothing to do with racial discrimination.

Illegal Pete’s “was just the name of an establishment in a novel I read. I was like, ‘Wow, that’s a cool name,’” Turner told the Post.

The Twitterverse has been chiming in on the controversy as well.

Of course, Turner could also just change the name to something inoffensive, like Redskins Bar and Grill maybe?

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Carmine Sabia

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