Casa Bonita, the Denver-based Mexican restaurant featured on the animated TV series South Park, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the iconic restaurant, which features attractions like an arcade and waterfall, like many restaurants across the country, has fallen victim to the lack of business during the pandemic. Court documents don’t reveal how much Casa Bonita is in the red but say the company’s “noncontingent liquated debts are below $7.5 million.”
The restaurant is featured on South Park because creator Trey Parker and Matt Stone loved going there when they were children. In 2016, Parker said he and Stone once thought about purchasing Casa Bonita when it came up for sale.
“We had 10 minutes of like, ‘We should buy it,’” Parker told The Hollywood Reporter at the time. “They do have a few things up there now where they’re like, this is the South Park Casa Bonita. There are people who go to Casa Bonita because of South Park.”
While an animated Casa Bonita has been featured throughout the show’s 23 seasons, there is a 2003 episode called “Casa Bonita” that follows the main characters planning to go to the beloved restaurant for a birthday party. During the episode, Casa Bonita is described as “the Disneyland of Mexican Restaurants.”
When Cartman finds out another kid has taken his place on the birthday party guest list, he devises a plan to trap the boy in a bomb shelter for a couple of days, so he can go to the party instead. But when the boy’s parents report him missing, the entire town goes searching for him while Cartman continues to think only of eating sopapillas and dancing to mariachi music.
While it is not yet known if Casa Bonita will close its door for good, a GoFundMe site has been created to help “Save Casa Bonita.”