Every South Park fan knows Casa Bonita from the show – after all, one of the most famous episodes of the animated sitcom centers around the Mexican restraunt. However, many don’t know that Casa Bonita is a real place. And, now, South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone have purchased the last remaining location. Read on for more info…
South Park Creators Rescue The Restaurant
Back in July, South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone decided they would try and purchase the last remaining location of Casa Bonita, located in Lakewood, Colorado. For those who don’t know, the Mexican restaurant chain opened up back in 1974, making it one of the earliest themed chain restaurants in the United States. Casa Bonita not only has great Mexican food, but also an arcade, photo ops, a cave to explore, and even a waterfall with cliff divers. That’s right! When Parker and Stone grew up in Colorado, it was one of their favorite places to go. That’s why they centered a whole episode of South Park around it.
However, time has not been kind to the Casa Bonita brand. While it once had dozens of locations, now only one remains, in Lakewood, Colorado. So Stone and Parker want to save it! “We are going to do everything we can,” Parker said, adding that the two want to treat the restaurant right. “I feel like it was neglected even before the pandemic.”
After working hard, in August, Parker and Stone officially bought Casa Bonita from Summit Family Restaurants for just over $3 million. The two also want to revamp the menu. And many are excited about the coming changes! “Not only will this help save an iconic landmark in Lakewood, but it will also provide catalytic change for an emerging arts district,” said Lakewood Mayor Adam Paul. “I want to thank Trey and Matt for their commitment to the community!”
However, not everyone is happy about the purchase…
Save Casa Bonita
While to many, the combination of South Park and Casa Bonita seemed like a match made in heaven, some locals disagree. Called the “Save Casa Bonita Group,” the locals planned to contest the sale in court. Why? Well, the group believes the restaurant should have been sold to local investors, who also offered to purchase the property. Now, they are worried about what Parker and Stone will do with the last remaining Casa Bonita.
“South Park obviously has a lot of history with it because they had an episode about it, but we’re the locals, we’re the voice of the community, we have thousands of supporters so we don’t want to see it become a South Park joke or South Park fun land,” Save Casa Bonita founder Andrew Novick said. “They are not restauranteurs… they are landlords to restaurants,” another member said. “They have had lawsuits with tenants, and we have heard SO MANY awful things about them.”
However, despite their displeasure, the group suddenly withdrew its objection just a few days before the hearing in November. When asked about the withdrawal of objection, Novick said he had no comment. So, for the time being at least, Casa Bonita will remain in the hands of Parker and Stone.