Illegal Pete’s Burritos, a small Chipotle-style burrito chain in Colorado, has caused a stir over its name. For Pete Turner, who has owned the mini-chain since 1995, the name means “countercultural,” but for the large Hispanic population in Fort Collins, where Pete will be opening his newest restaurant, the name evokes a different and offensive connotation due to the controversy over illegal immigration in the U.S.
A crowd of concerned residents attended a town meeting in Fort Collins to implore the owner to change his restaurant’s name.
"Social context is hugely important," Fort Collins immigration attorney and meeting moderator Kim Medina said, according to the Coloradoan. "We'll never get to big issues, such as immigration reform, until we can solve these smaller issues of language."
The restaurant’s name was likened to a local business hanging a Confederate Flag in their window. Turner has not yet responded regarding whether or not he will change the name of his restaurant to placate the community, which is slated to open by November 13.
"This is all very near and dear to me," Turner said at the meeting. "I've helped pay for citizenship for some of my employees."
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Joanna Fantozzi is an Associate Editor with The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @JoannaFantozzi