Growing up in Colorful Colorado, I remember trips to that landmark of Lakewood, Casa Bonita. The humongous Mexican restaurant features an arcade, a cave, a waterfall with cliff divers, and more. The location is so iconic that the animated show South Park repeatedly featured it, sending Eric Cartman through its storied attractions.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the creators of South Park have their eyes on Casa Bonita. Trey Parker and Matt Stone told the magazine that they intend to purchase the restaurant from its current employer, Summit Family Restaurants, which filed for bankruptcy in April.
“We want to buy Casa Bonita and treat it right,” Parker told The Hollywood Reporter. “I feel like it was neglected even before the pandemic.”
While a possible sale is in limbo due to ongoing court proceedings, Parker said he and Stone are working to make a deal. “We are absolutely trying to buy it. We are going to do everything we can. We want to make it right and make it amazing.”
Casa Bonita, located at 6715 W. Colfax Ave. in Lakewood, opened in 1974. It has remained closed during the COVID-19 pandemic, but it may be on the cusp of reopening after it undergoes some repairs and a health inspection.
“We started talking about the changes we’re going to make — mostly with the food,” Parker said. (Casa Bonita is not known for its high food quality.) “We’re going to make really awesome food. I was already thinking about how I was going to make Black Bart’s Cave a little bigger.”
South Park has featured Casa Bonita in many episodes, even centering an episode on the restaurant in 2003. The restaurant also appeared in the 2017 video game South Park: The Fractured but Whole.
“It’s just sitting there. It sucks,” Parker told The Hollywood Reporter. “For a moment when it was like, ‘Casa Bonita is going to close down,’ we said, ‘We’re going to go buy it.’ And I felt like it was the crowning achievement of my life.”