Owner of Pete’s Kitchen, Satire Lounge in Denver was 85

Pete Contos, a founding father of Denver’s restaurant scene, died on Sunday. He was 85.

Contos was the longtime owner of Pete’s Kitchen and its neighbor, Pete’s Satire Lounge, on East Colfax Avenue. An employee who did not wish to be identified confirmed the death Monday morning.

John Prieto, The Denver Post

Pete Contos stands outside Pete’s Greek Town Cafe in this December 2013 file photo.

Within the last year, Pete’s Kitchen celebrated its 30th anniversary selling all-day gyros, souvlaki, kabobs and more underneath a neon sign at the corner of Colfax and Race Street. Satire Lounge was Contos’ first Denver business. It opened nearly 60 years ago.

The restaurateur immigrated to Denver from Greece in 1956. He worked his way up in the industry from dishwasher to busboy, and barback to bartender. By 2006, he was inducted into the Foodservice Hall of Fame. The plaque dedicated to him said the following: