South Park Creators Announce May 2023 Reopening

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Just in time for the holidays, we have a very special present from South Park creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker—an announcement about the planned reopening of restaurant Casa Bonita in Lakewood, Colorado, near Denver.

South Park fans will remember that an entire episode hinges on this miracle of a restaurant (and may not have believed that such a place existed in real life!). Inside this bright pink Mexican restaurant with a tower and a fountain in front, cliff divers dive headfirst down incredible interior waterfalls, people in gorilla suits chase customers and you can walk through an entire cave system. People line up with trays to get Mexican food, but once at the table, you can raise a miniature flag to request refills from waitstaff. The whole place is a dizzying bit of mayhem and joy.

The famed pink monolith closed in March 2020 due to the pandemic and went bankrupt in spring of 2021. The South Park creators purchased it in September 2021 for $3.1 million. It was announced a few months ago that Stone and Parker kept everyone on the payroll for the last year despite the closure for renovations and that 29 longtime employees had just graduated from a free 26-week language course in English and Spanish.

While locals have in the past called it ‘Casa Don’tEatHere,’ Stone and Parker announced when they purchased the landmark last year that they were intending to upscale the food and make the restaurant a culinary destination as well as a kitschy one. In fact, executive chef and culinary partner Dana Rodriguez recently got a James Beard nomination under the category “Best Chef: Mountain,” an achievement which must seem all the sweeter since she was originally turned down to cook for Casa Bonita under previous management.

A YouTube video released today shows Stone and Parker, along with Rodriguez (called Loca in the video), inside the restaurant with ladders, scaffolding and workers behind them. Stone, wearing a Casa Bonita T-shirt, says, ‘We want to wish everyone in Colorado a Happy Holidays from all of us at Casa Bonita.’ Parker adds that besides Coloradans’ wish for a ‘new football team and fresh snow,’ they want an opening date for the restaurant. Rodriguez then opens a gift box, takes out a piece of paper inside, and announces, ‘It’s going to be in May!’

In the audio commentary for that 2003 South Park episode featuring Casa Bonita, Parker says that it is one of his top 10 favorite episodes of the show. The Denver Business Journal reported in 2012 that its airing increased visitorship to the restaurant (under the awesome headline, ‘People dive, profits soar’).

We’ll all be raising our flags for more nachos: May can’t come fast enough.

Looking for other beautiful restaurants? Check out the most photogenic ones in the world. 

Or forget beauty, you want wacky food combinations? Uber Eats knows we want ranch dressing with our sushi.

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