I can’t believe I hadn’t posted this previously. For this egregious oversight, I apologize profusely. Casa Bonita is located on West Colfax Avenue in Lakewood, CO.
Although a hearty endorsement from Cartman should have swayed me from actually going to this place, I had to see it, once S. John Ross explained it to me. I had to have the Casa Bonita EXPERIENCE. The ‘Taste of Mexico’, as it were.
And boy, is ‘Mexico’ beige – at least at this place. You have to buy dinner to get in, but you don’t necessarily have to EAT it. The entirety of the fun here is in being able to walk around and get the full sensory overload that is Casa Bonita. The line to simply pay for your meal, and therefore entrance into this bizarre extravaganza makes you feel like you’re waiting for a ride at a theme park.
The line then wraps around to a place where you pick up trays and wait for the people behind the small ‘jailhouse food slit’ to birth your unappetizing meal out onto cheap spanish tile delivery counter. Numerous signs warn of hot plates, so I’m assuming that at least twice a night, people burn themselves on the damned things and complain to management.
The scenery is SPECTACULAR. And by spectacular, I mean “Wow. I can’t believe this place is still standing. I guess the building code inspector was off for the last ten years.” There are brief 4 to 5 minute shows every 15 minutes, whether it’s somebody diving, a ‘western gunfight’ or two pirates fighting over a woman in what looks like medieval garb, which was perplexing.
We demanded a table overlooking the waterfall, and it was well worth it. The schedule at the table promised a varied collection of ‘acts’:
You get the idea.
BUT, unfortunately, ‘Gorilla’ was not to be seen during our brief, soapy meal. Actually, it was supposed to be a five minute interlude with a group of people in monkey outfits, which I would really liked to have witnessed – especially if one or all of them ended up in the water, as seemed to happen with each successive mini spectacle. Each of the ‘shows’ ended with at least one or two participants either diving into or being pushed into the water, all to high comedic effect that completely entranced all the little children surrounding us.
We braved Black Bart’s Cave, relieved that the night was still young, and the cave did not overflow with the stench of sickness. However, when venturing to the dining spaces behind the waterfall, we were overcome with humidity. It was unsurprising that nobody was sitting back there.
The shows are odd and the ‘actors’ REALLY over-the-top enthusiastic to the point of being almost spastic, but it’s worth a trip at least once in your lifetime, should you find yourself out in Denver, CO.
The main diver is pretty talented, I will say. I kept expecting him to crack his head open on the rocks in the pool be low with the flips he was doing in that small space. The swingy rope that attached to a REALLY sketchy, rickety area in the ceiling kept looking as if it’d snap off and drop into the pool.
All in all, a very worthwhile experience.