South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone helped make the Colorado restaurant Casa Bonita known around the world, but that was not enough to keep its owners from needing to file Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in April. After learning about Summit Family Restaurants' financial troubles, the comedy masterminds told The Hollywood Reporter they wanted to buy Casa Bonita. Unfortunately for them, the company is not interested in selling.
The Mexican restaurant is located in Lakewood, Colorado and is known for its incredible interior that includes an arcade, waterfall, and cave. It has been closed since the start of the coronavirus pandemic last year. Summit Family Restaurants filed for Chapter 11 in Arizona on April 6. However, representatives for Summit told TMZ on Saturday they do not plan to sell the restaurant. They hope to reopen the restaurant once the bankruptcy process is complete.
Summit reps told TMZ many people offered to buy the restaurant after filing for bankruptcy, but they never heard from Parker and Stone directly. They did not shut the door on the two owning the restaurant in the future. If Summit does want to sell Casa Bonita, which it has owned for 25 years, the South Park writers will immediately move to the top of the list, they said.
Parker and Stone told THR last week they want to buy the restaurant. "We want to buy Casa Bonita and treat it right. I feel like it was neglected even before the pandemic," Parker said on July 28. At the time, he said the bankruptcy process would put a sale on hold, but they are "absolutely" trying to buy it. "We are going to do everything we can. We want to make it right and make it amazing," Parker said.
If Parker and Stone ever do buy Casa Bonita, they have big plans to revitalize it. "We started talking about the changes we're going to make — mostly with the food," Parker told THR. "We're going to make really awesome food. I was already thinking about how I was going to make Black Bart's Cave a little bigger." They might even add some South Park references to the restaurant.
Casa Bonita was a beloved restaurant for Parker and Stone, who were both raised in Colorado. It has been mentioned throughout South Park's run, and was even at the center of a classic 2003 episode. It was also featured in downloadable content for the 2017 video game South Park: The Fractured but Whole. Parker said it "sucks" to see the restaurant just sit there. "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," he said.
A few days before Parker's interview with THR, the latest bankruptcy filing from Summit showed that the Casa Bonita just needed a few repairs before it reopens. The company said in the court filing obtained by KDVR the restaurant needs repairs for its boiler system, which was damaged while the restaurant was closed last year. After the repairs are finished, the restaurant could "pass final health and fire inspections to provide menu service," according to the July 15 filing. Summit expected to be ready to re-open the restaurant in late July or early August.
Colorado residents want Summit to sell the restaurant to Parker and Stone. A Change.org user launched a petition that already has over 1,100 signatures. "We don't want you anymore. We want Matt and Trey. You say you aren't ready to sell, we say you are," the petitioner wrote. "You have had opportunities to change for decades but you haven't. You serve horrible food to your paying customers with no shame."