‘South Park’ Fans Are Risking It All for the Chance to Eat at the New Casa Bonita

One superfan has spent a week in his car hoping to gain entrance to the restaurant
‘South Park’ Fans Are Risking It All for the Chance to Eat at the New Casa Bonita

Hoping to celebrate Cinco de Mayo or Kyle Broflovski’s birthday, South Park fans were disappointed to see May end with no official re-opening of Casa Bonita, the real-life Mexican-themed restaurant that inspired one of the show’s most beloved episodes. Although showrunners-turned-restauranteurs Trey Parker and Matt Stone sought a May 2023 grand reopening after pouring $12 million into renovating the iconic Colorado landmark, the month came and went without a full debut to the public. 

However, there are signs that a re-opening is coming soon.

The Denver Post reported that a newsletter sent on May 26th, which is by no coincidence Kyle’s birthday, informed subscribers that the first diners of the newly-restored Casa Bonita will be selected via a lottery. Those lucky enough to snag an invitation can bring up to five family members during the soft launch. From there, the restaurant will move to a three-day ticketed system as it continues toward its goal of a full public opening with traditional hours, seven days a week. 

News of this timeline, however, came a little too late for some superfans, including Lance Castillo, who has spent a week in his Mini Cooper, complete with a mattress, video games and snacks, in hopes of being the first person to taste the restaurant’s signature sopapillas. After being informed of the lottery system, he told a local news station, “It was a bummer, but I have my hopes up that someone inside will see my dedication and say, ‘Come on in bud.’” Having already taken time off from work, Castillo plans to stay put until he receives a coveted invitation. 

Other fans like @annie_von_b, who has the pink palace forever inked on her forearm, have taken a more traditional approach, tweeting her personal plea to dine at the new Casa Bonita.

There’s even a campout event planned on Facebook with more than 15,000 people RSVPing in the hopes of hunkering down in the parking lot whenever Parker and Stone announce the eatery’s official grand re-opening.

As a minor consolation prize for their patience, fans got a sneak peek as to what to expect when local reporters were invited for a hush-hush tour. While the food is still served cafeteria-style, a new menu was developed by James Beard nominee Dana “Loca” Rodriguez and includes enchiladas and camarones among other traditional offerings. Meanwhile, much of the Southwest-style decor has been renovated, like the plaza’s wishing well being restored to its original stonework. But have no fear South Park fans, original staples like the aforementioned sopapillas, cliff divers and Black Bart’s cave are still in play. 

The one mystery that remains is whether or not there will be any references to South Park at the restaurant. I guess you’ll have to sleep in the parking lot for a few more weeks to find out.

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