Food News

South Park Creators Buying Casa Bonita for $3.1 Million

The South Park creators are buying Casa Bonita for $3.1 million
The South Park creators are buying Casa Bonita for $3.1 million South Park
The South Park creators are buying Casa Bonita for $3.1 million - SOUTH PARK
The South Park creators are buying Casa Bonita for $3.1 million
South Park
Cartman, Kyle, Kenny and Stan are on their way to West Colfax Avenue: Trey Parker and Matt Stone, the Coloradans who created South Park, have signed an official contract to buy Casa Bonita for $3.1 million.

On the afternoon of September 27, an attorney representing Summit Family Restaurants, the company that currently owns the Casa Bonita restaurant at 6715 West Colfax Avenue in Lakewood, filed a series of documents in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Colorado to let the judge overseeing the case know that the South Park creators and Summit Family Restaurants had struck a sale agreement on September 23.

The entire agreement, which has buy-in from the property's landlord, still needs the sign-off of Judge Michael E. Romero of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court.

Parker and Stone are buying Casa Bonita under the name "Beautiful Opco." Keith Pizzi, who is associated with Parker and Stone's company, Park County, signed the contract on their behalf.

A landmark destination for Colorado kids and their families since it opened in 1974, Casa Bonita was already famous when it went global in a 2003 South Park episode named after the 52,000-square-foot Mexican-themed restaurant, which boasts a thirty-foot indoor waterfall and a pink stucco tower.
click to enlarge Casa Bonita has been a towering pink presence on West Colfax for nearly five decades. - EVAN SEMÓN
Casa Bonita has been a towering pink presence on West Colfax for nearly five decades.
Evan Semón
Summit Family Restaurants, which is owned by Bob Wheaton, a resident of Arizona, will pay the eatertainment palace's landlord, BSV Lamont JCRS, $900,000 to settle its debts, which began racking up when the COVID-19 pandemic forced the restaurant's closure in March 2020. The restaurant never did reopen for in-person dining; Summit Family Restaurants filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization in April. Although the kitchen did not reopen, Casa Bonita began offering free tours of the space in late May, led by the few staffers that the restaurant had on contract at the time.

Including the $900,000 due to the landlord, Summit Family Restaurants has $2.89 million worth of debt in relation to Casa Bonita, according to court documents, so Wheaton won't be walking away with a lot of cash from this deal. He did not return a call from Westword; Park County representatives did not respond to requests for an interview, either.

Parker and Stone broke the news that they planned to buy Casa Bonita during an August 13 sit-down with Governor Jared Polis to celebrate the 24th anniversary of South Park, their show on Comedy Central.

"I think everyone knows what the potential of that place can be, and we certainly do. I think it's going to be awesome," Parker said.

During their conversation, the governor addressed the most pressing concern of Casa Bonita fans: the restaurant's reputation for not-so-bonita food.

"We all love Casa Bonita. The one area that we'd all love to see an upgrade — I think I speak on behalf of everybody who patronizes Casa Bonita — is the food can be a little better. You've probably heard that," Polis said.

"I think it could be a little more than a little better," Stone responded.

Whether the Save Casa Bonita group, including superfan Andrew Novick, which worked to raise awareness and funds for a possible purchase, can play a supporting role in the deal is still unknown.

"We also know that there are a lot of people that have been working...that love Casa Bonita," Parker told Polis, "so we're excited to work with everybody and make it the place we all want to make it."
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Conor McCormick-Cavanagh is a staff writer at Westword, where he covers a range of beats, including local politics, immigration and homelessness. He previously worked as a journalist in Tunisia and loves to talk New York sports.