DENVER — The owner of Pete's Kitchen on Colfax died over the weekend, a manager at the restaurant said.

Pete Contos was 85 years old. He and his wife have been staples in the Denver restaurant scene for decades. Together they own six restaurants, including Pete's Kitchen.

A statement from Contos' family reads: 

"It is with a heavy heart that we share the loss of our beloved husband, father, grandfather and friend Pete Contos.

Pete was a pillar of strength and optimism in the Denver community, recognizing opportunity where others missed it and investing with blood, sweat, tears and laughter into his life work. The restaurant community in Denver would not be what it is today, and none of us would be who we are today, were it not for the love, passion and dedication that Pete brought with him every day.

We want to thank our amazing community for the outpouring of thoughts, prayers and words of kindness as we process our sadness and celebrate the life of this amazing man. We know that his difference is felt across Denver, and his legacy lives on in his family, his friends, and the iconic establishments which bear his name.

Pete will be missed, but he will not be forgotten."

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Pete's kitchen

Contos' entrepreneurial spirit led him to own unique Denver businesses such 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, the company's website says.

They've all been family owned since 1962, according to the website.

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