Who owns Casa Bonita? 'South Park' creators Trey Parker, Matt Stone to buy eatery seen on show
The iconic restaurant 'Casa Bonita' featured on the animated TV series 'South Park', is likely to be taken over by show creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker. The dynamic duo might soon get their hands on their beloved Mexican food joint in Denver, Colorado. The owners of the restaurant had filed for bankruptcy in April 2021, following which a movement was launched by local citizens to save the place. Now, Stone and Parker have emerged as saviors for Casa Bonita.
The restaurant was first mentioned and shown in the 2003 'South Park' episode of the same name. In the episode, one of the lead characters, Eric Cartman, tries to hide Butters, to secure an invitation to Kyle Broflovski's birthday party. The party was hosted at the fictional Casa Bonita restaurant, inspired by the actual Denver eatery. In real life, both Parker and Stone had memories of visiting the restaurant, along with a few other crew members, including director Eric Stough.
Who owns Casa Bonita restaurant?
The restaurant in Denver is owned by the Summit Family Restaurants, Inc, one of the top 100 restaurant chains in the USA. Most of its restaurants are spread across the Western states of Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, Wyoming, Idaho, South Dakota, Colorado, and Washington.
The chain was originally founded in 1961 as JB's Big Boy by Jack M Broberg — a graduate of the University of Southern California. Prior to starting his own restaurant, he worked as a sales engineer and account executive with Lockheed. The first JB's Big Boy was opened in Provo, Utah, followed by another one in Ogden. The restaurant had four branches by 1965, with their central office in Salt Lake City.
The company continued to grow and became a public corporation in 1972, with diverse types of restaurants across the country. However, they faced a serious financial decline in the 1970s, with rising food costs, increasing competition and gasoline shortage. However, they soon climbed back up the ladder of success with an upgraded menu and other offerings that appealed to the average consumer. The firm changed its name to Summit Family Restaurants Inc in 1995.
The magnificent Casa Bonita in Denver is one of the most iconic restaurants owned by Summit Family Restaurants. Complete with an arcade, a cave, and a waterfall with cliff divers, the place was a hit among the local residents and tourists. However, in April 2021, the restaurant filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, which was due to a filing of unlawful detainer (eviction) by the landlord.
Local connoisseurs of the restaurant joined hands together to start a fundraiser for saving it. The GoFundMe campaign has raised $67,995 out of their $100,000 goal.
Now Trey Parker and Matt Stone have expressed their wish to buy the joint. Parker confirmed the same to The Hollywood Reporter saying, "We want to buy Casa Bonita and treat it right. I feel like it was neglected even before the pandemic. 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."
Parker, who has listed the 'South Park' episode 'Casa Bonita' as one of his top favorites, also said, "It’s just sitting there. It sucks. 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.”