A view from the Casa Bonita tour. (CCM)

This story first appeared in a Colorado Community Media newspaper. Support CCM’s neighborhood news. The Colorado Sun is an owner of CCM.

Art imitates life, imitates art?

In a virtual news conference with Gov. Jared Polis, Trey Parker and Matt Stone, creators of the animated series South Park confirmed they’ve reached an agreement to buy Casa Bonita.

The legendary Lakewood Mexican restaurant has been shuttered since early in the pandemic. Its owner, Summit Restaurant Group, declared bankruptcy earlier in this year. 

Stone said the deal isn’t finalized, but that their intention is to purchase the restaurant. “We have an agreement. We are on the verge,” he said.

Even before Friday’s announcement, South Park and Casa Bonita would have forever been linked in the annals of pop-culture history after the restaurant was featured in a now-classic episode of the series.

Parker and Stone said they’re aware of recent community efforts including a GoFundMe campaign to save the restaurant. 

“We’re excited to work with everybody to make it the place we all want to make it,” Parker said.

They said they’re also aware the quality of the food could be improved a little — or a lot — and hope to do just that. Parker relayed a story of his then 4-year-old daughter’s less-than-enthusiastic reaction to her meal after a visit.

“If a kid can’t stomach it (the food), it’s pretty bad,” he said.

Recently, in lieu of being open for business, Casa Bonita has been giving guided tours, to comply with lease provisions. Just weeks ago, Robert Wheaton, CEO of Summit Family Restaurants told Denver’s KMGH-TV that he planned on reopening Casa Bonita in September.