Summit Family Restaurants, owner of Casa Bonita, filed for bankruptcy on April 6 in Arizona.
According to the Denver 7 reports, despite filing for bankruptcy, Summit Chairman Bob Wheaton is hoping the Lakewood icon will reopen by Memorial Day. He said one of the biggest challenges they faced was bolstering staff after being closed since March 2020 due to Covid-19 restrictions.
Summit previously filed for Chapter 11 protection in 2011, after being unable to agree on the terms of payment of a legal judgment against the company, but continued to operate Casa Bonita without closing.
Part of a chain that began in Oklahoma City in 1968, Casa Bonita opened in Lakewood in early 1974. It was designated a historic landmark by the city in March 2015.
Best known for its cliff divers, mariachis, sopapillas and incomparable pink facade, the restaurant has become a must-see attraction for generations of Coloradans.
The restaurant achieved cult pop culture status in 2003, when it was featured on an episode of Cartoon Network’s South Park.
The Casa Bonita website currently has a newsletter at the top of the home page saying, “Casa Bonita will reopen soon!”
Meanwhile, a GoFundMe fundraising effort, started by a group of self-proclaimed Casa Bonita super fans not directly affiliated with the restaurant, has been underway since the bankruptcy announcement. So far, the campaign has raised over $ 39,000 of a goal of $ 100,000.
The group also launched an information website, www.savecasabonita.org, to generate donations and raise funds by selling Casa Bonita themed products.