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IKEA will put a 550-seat restaurant in Centennial -- but Casa Bonita is bigger!

On July 27, IKEA will unveil its first store in Colorado, complete with the 550-seat IKEA Restaurant & Café and a Swedish food market.

Although both a market and restaurant are integral parts of most IKEA outlets, the restaurant in Centennial will be the largest to date. That's a lot of meatballs -- and it got us thinking about what would rank as the biggest restaurant in the state.

As far as we can determine, the champion is Casa Bonita, the incredible, Pepto-Bismol-pink institution at 6715 West Colfax Avenue in Lakewood that packs cliff divers, Black Bart's Cave and dozens of other attractions into 52,000 square feet that can seat over 1,000 people and serve them endless quantities of Mexican food...or at least some facsimile of food.

As far as we can determine, the champion is Casa Bonita, the incredible, Pepto-Bismol-pink institution at 6715 West Colfax Avenue in Lakewood that packs cliff divers, Black Bart's Cave and dozens of other attractions into 52,000 square feet that can seat over 1,000 people and serve them endless quantities of Mexican food...or at least some facsimile of food.

Since it opened in 1974, Casa Bonita's reputation has grown as outsized as its space. It's already inspired a South Park episode, and this month, a crew from World's Weirdest Restaurants, a show on Food Network Canada, will be stopping by to film a segment on the iconic spot.

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Experience more, much more, of the massive Casa Bonita through this slide show

And if you know of a bigger Colorado restaurant than Casa Bonita (we doubt there's a weirder one), e-mail the scoop to cafe@westword.com.

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