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Reader: Bring Casa Bonita Back (With Better Food)!

Casa Bonita has been closed since March 2020.
Casa Bonita has been closed since March 2020.
Evan Semon
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There are signs of life at Casa Bonita, the pink palace that closed up tight a year ago. The website casabonitadenver.com is finally live again, promising that "Casa Bonita is reopening soon"; in the meantime, it's serving up videos and fun facts about this eatertainment extravaganza that opened at 6715 West Colfax Avenue in Lakewood back in 1974. And at the end of the recent South Park "Vaccination" special — creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone are big fans — Cartman, Stan, Kyle and Kenny were headed to a reopened Casa Bonita.

But some people aren't waiting for Casa Bonita's owner, Star Buffet, to announce a reopening schedule. A week ago, artrepreneur Andrew Novick introduced a crowdfunding campaign to show community support for bringing Casa Bonita back; the Save Casa Bonita GoFundMe has raised over $8,000 so far.

It's also raised plenty of comments from Casa Bonita friends and foes on the Westword Facebook posts of our recent stories. Says Heather:

When I was a kid, I felt just as Cartman does about Casa Bonita. The chlorine smell, hoping we get to sit in the cabana next to the waterfall, Black Bart’s Cave, Skeeball in the arcade, and the treasure chest on the way out were things I always looked forward to. I know the food is bad, but I cannot recall the food when I was a child (except for raising the sopapilla flag!); I just remember the experience. I hope they reopen.

Notes Kev:

I’m still digesting the food from my last visit ten years ago.

Suggests Jana:

Do a killer scratch menu but keep the rest of the kitsch. I'm mystified why the owners KNOW the food is utter crap, yet keep on serving hot garbage when Taco Bell serves less diarrhea.

Responds Diane:

I feel Casa Bonita needs to live on. It's a tradition. The food has never, ever, ever been good — well, maybe the sopapillas if you are a kid. But it's definitely a go-there-at-least-once destination 

Replies Kathy:

There are much better places to buy sopapillas. Almost anywhere.

Counters Jacob:

Never had a bad food experience here. Buuuut, that's only a portion of the experience. Can't wait to go back.

Comments Elizabeth:

It would be cool if they of course got better food but also did some updates to the interior. Like had working arcade games. Hell, even just a fresh coat of paint on the place would make a huge difference. Should have used the time shut down to make improvements and then had a grand reopening.

But then there's this from Darrell:

Ya know? I've lived here for 41 years now. Been there maybe 10 times, always for some kind of event and never for my own reason to just go and eat. It might be a Denver icon, but the food sucked/sucks, it's not cheap, it's always humid, reeks of chlorine, and....the lines. If corporate wants to save it, then that's up to them. I'm out.

Concludes Mindy:

I would pay if they served something other than indigestion.

When was the last time you visited Casa Bonita? Is bringing it back important to Denver's pop-culture scene? Post a comment or share your thoughts at editorial@westword.com.

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