It’s all about the singing sauce.
Well, to clarify, the sauce doesn’t croon. But one of the employees that serves it at the Glendale location sings beautifully, and when you taste Pete’s signature sauce, your mouth might sing (or at least hum) a mouth-watering tune.
Just ask any regular customer of this business that has racked up more than 15 awards, ranging from “Best Fast Seafood,” to “Best Lunch Under $7” to “Best Greasy Spoon.”
Since 1947, Pete’s Fish & Chips has been serving up the simplicity of a grab-n-go style menu in eight Valley locations, featuring “crabettes,” chicken nuggets, fried shrimp, fried scallops and Pete’s famous sauce. Pete’s has been a Glendale tradition since 1984, with its current restaurant at 5516 W. Glendale Ave., and has been named Mayor Jerry Weiers’ Business of the Week.
“More often than not, simplicity is the best formula,” Weiers said. “Pete’s serves this amazing sauce - a family recipe. They keep the whole culture of their business family-oriented, and it makes you want to go back.”
One day, while grabbing lunch at the restaurant, Weiers took note of the creativity of one employee, Clarissa Granado, 32, of Glendale, who sings orders and well wishes from the pick-up window.
“Here’s something straight from the heart from each one of us at Pete’s - you are our shining stars,” Granado serenades, to the delight and surprise of customers.
“Clarissa’s a blessing and, actually, we’ve always treated our employees like family, which is why some of them have been here for 15 years,” said store manager Steve Garday. “Pete’s philosophy is based on three principles – price, quality and service. The economy sometimes affects pricing and there’s not a lot we can do about that, but as for the quality and service, we can have plenty to do about that.”
That family mantra has carried through generations for almost 70 years at Pete’s Fish & Chips. The “monster burger,” still a signature on the menu, was named by founder Peter Grant after his four daughters, whom he referred to as his “little monsters.”
Grant was an international golf champion, played NCAA basketball in Indiana and served his country in the U.S. Navy in WWII, where the fish basket idea first sparked. Following a medical discharge, Grant packed his entire household into a trailer and moved to Arizona with his wife, Ruth, who was pregnant at the time. He invested his life savings into his first “Chip House” on 31st and Van Buren streets, where they sold fish baskets for 35 cents and made a $12 profit on the first day.
Forty years later, Grant’s daughters had to take over the business, when their father was tragically murdered in 1987 in his Phoenix apartment for $30,000 in coins and silver pieces. The perpetrator was caught and sentenced to life in prison.
Many of Pete’s descendants are still involved in running the family business in cities across the Valley, carrying out Pete’s original vision, and the management remains a close-knit team. The newly-renovated Tolleson location was named “Ruth Walden Super Pete’s,” honoring a manager who worked there for 57 years.
The Glendale restaurant is open 10 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and is closed Sundays. Enjoy a little slice of Americana while your order is melodically delivered over the Glendale airwaves. If you ask for the sauce recipe, you’ll get a smile, but not the ingredients. That remains a close family secret, and one worth keeping.
The Mayor’s Business of the Week is a program initiated by Mayor Jerry Weiers in 2014 to recognize the entrepreneurial spirit in Glendale. The purpose of the program is to heighten awareness of local companies by showcasing the many aspects of doing business in Glendale and the positive impact on our city, citizens and local economy.
Businesses that are named Business of the Week are also featured through Weiers’ social media channels and the Glendale Chamber of Commerce.