LAKEWOOD, Colo. — In less than five weeks, the owners of the iconic Casa Bonita, plan to reopen the restaurant. The beloved landmark is home to margaritas, sopaipillas and a live entertainment.
More than a year ago, the restaurant shut down.
“We were closed down because the [Colorado] regulations did not permit the business to operate, and then it was during the closure that we sustained some infrastructure issues,” said Robert Wheaton, the CEO of Summit Family Restaurants business that owns Casa Bonita.
The goal is to re-open the restaurant by Sept. 1 or earlier.
Right now, there are about half a dozen repairs needed before the owners can request an inspection to open the restaurant. Wheaton admits it’s been a challenge finding people to make the necessary repairs.
Back in April, Summit Family Restaurants filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in Arizona.
“The bankruptcy was due to an inability to reach an accord with the landlord,” Wheaton said.
Superfans launched a campaign to save the business and raised more than $67,000.
"Those efforts are independent of our plan to reopen," Wheaton said.
Less than two months after filing for bankruptcy protection, the owners opened the arcade and the gift shop. They also launched backstage tours.
“On many days, between 200-400 guests will come in and do the backstage tours where we take them all through the restaurant,” Wheaton said.
Recently, the creators of South Park made headlines when they told The Hollywood Reporter during an interview that they wanted to become the new owners.
Wheaton disclosed that he was unaware of the announcement until he was contacted by Denver7.
“I have not been contacted by South Park or any of their representatives,” Wheaton said.
He said while the South Park creators, Trey Parker and Matt Stone, would be the ideal buyers, their focus is on reopening. If the creators remain interested, discussions about a sale could take place at a later date.
Wheaton said they fielded multiple interested buyers while filing for bankruptcy.
He said the company has the appropriate financing and staff needed to operate.