New Mexican Restaurant to open next month
In the summer of 1995, Pete Turner and his father opened the first Illegal Pete’s on Boulder’s University Hill, offering fast-casual Mexican food with a California twist.
Pete Turner Sr., who passed away from cancer two years later, was never well enough to work in the restaurant. However, he lent his unwavering moral support to his son and inspired the restaurant chain’s name with his famously rebellious nature.
Over the next six months, Illegal Pete’s will expand its presence, adding three new restaurants to its existing 12 locations in Colorado and Arizona. One of these new spots will open in Boulder’s Table Mesa Shopping Center in early December, occupying the space formerly occupied by the New American restaurant, Murphy’s South.
Murphy’s South, serving Boulder since its opening in 2009, experienced declining sales prior to the Covid pandemic, ultimately leading to its closure. Adam Perkins, owner and general manager of Murphy’s Tap House in Louisville, confirms the restaurant’s struggles with low sales.
Before Illegal Pete’s takes over the space, the previous Murphy’s South location will undergo renovations. Plans include the installation of new equipment and seating, as well as updates to the exterior facade. Illegal Pete’s is currently awaiting a demolition permit to commence the minor construction work.
From humble beginnings, Illegal Pete’s first California-style Mexican restaurant on The Hill had only eight seats. Turner expanded in 1998 with the opening of the Pearl Street Mall location. He had always envisioned opening a third location in South Boulder, but the right opportunity never presented itself until now.
Today, Illegal Pete’s serves up a menu of burritos, salads, nachos, quesadillas, and other Mexican fare, all inspired by the fresh, flavorful cuisine of California. The restaurant takes pride in its commitment to quality ingredients, sustainable practices, and a lively, welcoming atmosphere.
As Illegal Pete’s continues to grow, it remains faithful to its roots, honoring the legacy of Pete Turner Sr. and his passion for exceptional Mexican food. The new Table Mesa location represents an exciting step in the chain’s expansion, bringing its unique blend of flavors and friendly vibes to a new corner of Boulder.