By Danny Gonzales-Hyde
As you drive along West Colfax, you may notice a tall pink palace with what looks to be a bell tower towering over the rest of the buildings in the area. This building was once the beloved restaurant Casa Bonita. Casa Bonita was no ordinary restaurant, as it featured a variety of entertainment options that included cliff divers, live mariachis, and an immersive environment.
The restaurant first opened in 1974 and was a popular destination for families who wanted top-of-the-line entertainment and a dine-in experience all in one. Unfortunately, like many other restaurants in Denver and around the world, Casa Bonita closed amid the Covid-19 pandemic and their bankruptcy hearing back in March 2020. The previous owner was then forced to sell, and once it hit the market, Matt Stone and Trey Parker purchased Casa Bonita with the intention of re-introducing the once-beloved landmark of Colorado. Stone and Parker are most notably known for their creation of the popular animated satire “South Park.”
Amid the transfer of ownership, Stone and Parker have spent millions to restore the building. In doing so, their team has used the motto of “change nothing, improve everything” in an effort to preserve the distinguished character that has always set the restaurant apart. The uniqueness of Casa Bonita earned it a spot in the hearts of many Coloradans, as they have had many fond memories with both family and friends associated with the restaurant. This has rung true for my family, as we all have fond memories of going to this restaurant together for birthdays and other special occasions, and the memories of shared laughter still stick with us today. This nostalgic aspect of the reopening is what will bring my family and many other families back to Casa Bonita upon its reopening.
Most importantly, the renovations made by the new owners and laborers aim to make the restaurant more efficient in its operation, with a focus on hygiene. They also hired a renowned Chef, Dana Rodríguez, to boost its culinary reputation. She and her team said that the quality of the food will make a huge leap, as everything will be made from scratch. This is on top of the complete remodeling of the kitchen, which is now decked out with all the latest culinary technology. Further, there will now be an admission ticket which will cover both food and entertainment.
So far there has been no announcement in regard to an official opening date, but the restaurant will start to have limited hours. In order to get one of these limited spots, guests will have to sign up for Casa Bonita’s email list and from there will be chosen at random.
Danny Gonzales-Hyde is an Independent Reporter for The Weekly Issue/El Semanario.
For More Colorado News: ElSemanarioOnline.com
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