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Lookback: Casa Bonita Sneak Peek

Lookback: Casa Bonita Sneak Peek


What first caught my eye during the exclusive sneak peek tour inside Casa Bonita was the expansive kitchen. It was more than ready for the fresh food, “eat with your eyes first” menu plans of Executive Chef Dana Rodriguez. There’s also a glassed-in tortilla making station that’s ripe for spectators, and rows of trays where you can view the food as it’s being plated for you. 

We proceeded to an expanded cashier area with a row of about 10  payment stations to smoothly handle crowds rather than letting hungry diners languish in amusement park-like lines. There was also a deeper, roomier pool that more than adequately handled the cliff divers in orange bathing suits, and taller railings on the balconies. Oh, and there was an ADA compliant lift. 

This was not your grandfather’s Casa Bonita.

It was like we’d been living in black and white Kansas with Dorothy, and now found ourselves somewhere more vibrant but still familiar. A new, cleaner, but still chlorine-scented version of the old reality.

In reflection, I appreciate all of the work it must have taken Trey Parker, Matt Stone, Dana Rodrigez and everyone they worked with to get it here. Judging by reports as the construction progressed, it doesn’t sound like the process was easy for anyone.

Along with all of this fever-dream level stimulation and wonder, I’m still curious about the venue’s food. We sampled sopapillas, but other items weren’t available. A preview menu promised eight adult items including asadero cheese-stuffed enchiladas, carnitas with green chili, and a Casa Bonita Mole. There’s a kids menu with a bean and cheese burrito, a Mexican hot dog, or burger. A bar will pour cocktails and all meals come with chips and salsa and sopapillas. They will all be made with the freshest ingredients possible.

Looking to experience all of this for yourself? It’s possible if you sign up for the restaurant’s email list, as diners will be selected through a lottery to experience their soft opening. After that, Casa Bonita is selling tickets for three days, steadily heading towards a full public opening.

While they haven’t provided firm dates for their opening process, perhaps to build even more excitement, it does appear that things are heading to a business-as-usual status sometime in the near future. Like everyone else, I’ll be watching for my turn to bring a group and enjoy the new version of an old classic.

green enchiladas at Casa Bonita


Deborah Cameron
Deb brings a passion for community journalism and for the local food scene. She started out as an intern and over the years grew into our current Cuisine Editor. She has appeared in multiple publications including the Longmont Leader, The Left Hand Valley Courier, Ms. Mayhem, Finance101, and Ask.com. When not writing she's eating, road tripping, dog-parking, or watching high school softball. She moved to Colorado from Seattle in the early 2000s after spending a year traveling the U.S. in a teal Ford Escort hatchback. She lives with her husband, two teenagers, and a rescue dog named Charlie.

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