Casa Bonita opening includes lottery and ticketed dinner before public debut

The first lucky locals to be able to dine at Casa Bonita in Lakewood will be selected via a lottery and invited to bring up to five family members with them during a soft opening period. The beloved eatertainment venue will then sell tickets for three days as it ramps up in stages to a public opening with regular hours, The Denver Post has learned.

Lakewood Police Department Commander Jon Alesch detailed the opening plans in a security-related email procured by The Denver Post through a Colorado Open Record Act request. The May 11 email to other Lakewood city employees doesn’t include specific dates when this will happen and Casa Bonita has not announced when it will open to the public.

The restaurant did, however, begin soliciting signups to its newsletter on May 26, stating its first guests will be pulled exclusively from its email list.

While the email from Alesch did not state when ticketed dinners would be held, the commander wrote that the system “should help avoid the ‘wait in line’ group on Facebook from gaining any traction.” More than 15,000 people have RSVPed to a fictitious Facebook event in hopes of lining up to be among the first to try the new menu, crafted by James Beard-nominated chef Dana “Loca” Rodriguez.

A representative from Casa Bonita was not immediately available to comment on when ticketed dinners would happen or how much tickets will cost.

After the soft openings and ticketed events, which are expected to include about 500 people, Casa Bonita plans to open for dinner only Monday through Saturday, Alesch said in his email.

“A short time later that will transition to seven days a week nighttime only,” the email states. “Then, the restaurant will move to being open all day on the weekends. Finally, six to eight weeks into opening they will be open seven days a week all day.”

Casa Bonita, with its cliff divers and famous sopapillas, has been among the most highly anticipated restaurant openings in Colorado for the better part of two years since “South Park” creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker purchased the local landmark and promised to restore it to its former glory.

Because of that, restaurant officials and police have been concerned about the parking lot at the Lamar Station Plaza shopping center being able to accommodate guests. Casa Bonita has hired security and is “committed to having 2-3 agents in an overtime capacity to manage public right of way traffic flow during initial peak times when fully open,” Alesch said in his email.

The restaurant’s neighbor, WestFax Brewing Co., is already seeing an uptick in business as curious locals come to enjoy a patio beer and views of the pink palace.

The Denver Post recently got a sneak peek at the renovations and new food menu, which offers a slimmed down list of items alongside the charm locals have come to love.

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