Nov 16, 2021 - Food and Drink
What to know about the new Casa Bonita
Mexican restaurant Casa Bonita features a man-made, three-story indoor waterfall.  Photo: Hyoung Chang/The Denver Post via Getty Images
Mexican restaurant Casa Bonita features a man-made, three-story indoor waterfall. Photo: Hyoung Chang/The Denver Post via Getty Images

Casa Bonita's makeover under its new ownership, the creators of "South Park," is underway.

Driving the news... The most significant change: The iconic restaurant's food will actually be a reason to go now.

Colorado natives Trey Parker and Matt Stone, who bought the restaurant out of bankruptcy, named Denver's all-star chef Dana Rodriguez to helm Casa Bonita's kitchen.

  • Rodriguez is a three-time James Beard award nominee and the creative mind behind Work & Class and Super Mega Bien.

What they're saying: The approach for the new Casa Bonita is "change nothing and improve everything," Rodriguez tells 5280 magazine.

One thing that will evolve is the food, which was notoriously bad but required to get in to see the cliff divers.

  • "Obviously the food wasn't great, and that's something we all remember. … We're going to make everything one thousand times better, keeping the same essence," Rodriguez adds.

What to watch: The restaurant is expected to reopen in the second half of 2022.

  • The entertainment isn't anticipated to change much, which will delight newbies and old fans alike.
  • The cliff diving, Black Bart's Cave, mariachis, costumed gorillas and the arcade will all return, but spiffed up for the reboot. "You don't want to change the history of a place like that," Rodriguez tells the magazine.
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