To fans of South Park, Casa Bonita is the oft-mentioned Mexican restaurant where Kyle had a birthday party back in 2003 episode aptly titled “Casa Bonita.” To millions of people who grew up in the American southwest in the ‘70s and ‘80s, the Mexican restaurant/theme park is a beloved relic of childhood family outings. And for South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone, it could very well be their next creative collaboration.
Originally opened in Oklahoma City in 1968, Casa Bonita is a very real, adventure-filled restaurant that blossomed into a locally beloved mini-chain back in the day, with most of its eateries located in Arizona. While the so-called “eatertainment” venue began to lose its luster when the ‘90s came knocking — not long before South Park premiered in 1997. Eventually, all but the Lakewood, Colorado location of Casa Bonita closed, and it’s a place that has long held great memories for both Parker and Stone. Which is why the restaurant — which can seat more than 1,000 people at once and features a 30-foot waterfall with cliff divers — has become South Park canon. And why the Emmy Award-winning duo are attempting to buy the restaurant, which closed in 2020 due to the pandemic and filed for bankruptcy in April of this year.
“We want to buy Casa Bonita and treat it right,” Parker told The Hollywood Reporter. “I feel like it was neglected even before the pandemic.” One of their main goals is to improve the quality of the food, which The Denver Post says “has never been the restaurant’s strong suit.”
But what do two dudes who make an R-rated animated TV show that featured a talking poop know about running a restaurant? Probably not a whole lot, which is why they’re partnering with a couple of local restaurateurs on what could be an epic culinary adventure — and a crowning professional achievement.
“It’s just sitting there. It sucks,” Parker told THR. “For a moment when it was like, ‘Casa Bonita is going to close down,’ we said, ‘We’re going to go buy it.’ And I felt like it was the crowning achievement of my life.”
The deal, however, is far from done. According to a local news report from Fox 31, Casa Bonita might already be getting ready to reopen once it passes a health and fire inspection. Still, Parker and Stone can hope — and dream.
(Via The Hollywood Reporter)