Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Flashback City: Denver's Casa Bonita

In the "You owe me a coffee and a keyboard" department: BoingBoing links to a pictorial tour of Denver's Casa Bonita restaurant.

My family spent some time in Denver from 1977 to 1979, where my father completed his doctorate. I have any number of very resonant Denver-based memories. Here is one. Another is the Iliff library (greatly expanded and improved, I'm told) which had a corner devoted to pop cultural concerns that seemed like it had been assembled by a very advanced (ahem) 12-year-old boy. I'd hang out in that corner until the library closed, then walk downhill to the student housing complex where we lived. Denver is also where I first heard cicada song.

Our first year there some family friends took us to the Casa Bonita restaurant in Lakewood. What a wild, crowded, circus of a place! The BoingBoing tour and the comments that follow pretty much sum it up. I'm not surprised the place is all but deserted; I am surprised it's still in business. They've still got the revolting food. But do they have Speedo-clad torch-juggling "cliff" divers? Gunfights that conclude with Black Bart tumbling into the chlorinated lagoon and splashing the patrons? Mariachi bands that stroll from table to table? Prestidigitators plying their trade? Puppet shows?!?

Now I need someone to provide a pictorial history of Cinderella City (wiki).


DarkoV said...

Sounds to me, WP, that you'd better get your daughters down to Lakewood before their childlike comprehension of bizarreness as acceptable fun closes off.

Whisky Prajer said...

It may already be too late. The older daughter would detect the shabbiness early on and probably rain on the younger's parade. And neither of them would abide the food. Three years ago I caved to pressure and took them to Chuck E. Cheese's. They have yet to request a return, and refer to the pizza there as "Yuck E. Cheese-less." Ah, but they do know how to tug on the Old Man's heartstrings!