Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The King of Colfax

Pete Contos and Jonny Barber aka "The Velvet Elvis"
On Saturday, June 13, 2009, I had the honor of Pete asking me to perform at the Grand Re-Opening of the Satire Lounge, after he had newly remodeled the restaurant/bar. This was back in the days when The Velvet Elvis still walked the earth. At one time I may have foolishly considered myself the "King of Colfax", but after Pete joined me onstage for his rendition of "My Way", I had to abdicate the throne.

Copied from the plaque awarded to Pete when he entered the Foodservice Hall of Fame 2006:

     Pete Contos'  lifetime love of the restaurant business began the first day he arrived in Denver from Greece in 1956 when he watched a bartender mixing drinks and talking to customers.  He went on to work his way up in the business from dishwasher, busboy and bar-back to bartender, which he call his “trade”.

     His entrepreneurial spirit would lead him to own such unique Denver businesses as the Satire Lounge, Olympic Flame, Pete's Kitchen, Pete's Gyros Place, Pete's University Park Cafe, Pete's  Central, Pete's Ice Cream & Coffee, Pete's Greektown Cafe and The Bank Bar & Grill.

     Over the years, he has quietly lent a helping hand to people in need, whether it's paying medical bills, lending money to buy homes or financing an education.  He is known to help former employees to start their own business and regularly does such humanitarian deeds as serving holiday dinners to the elderly and neighborhood people.

     A dedicated family man with a quick wit, Pete keeps his door open and his cell phone on to anyone in need and has no plans to retire anytime soon saying “I'm having too much fun.  I wish everyone would love their job as much as I do.”

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