LAKEWOOD, Colorado (CBS4) – On Flag Day, Casa Bonita enthusiasts came together to honor one of Colorado’s arguably most iconic restaurant’s best-loved traditions: raising the flag for more sopapillas.
âOur mission is to ensure that Casa Bonita does not disappear from this area,â said Danny Newman, co-owner of My Brother’s Bar. âWe have to conserve a lot of these amazing ancient places that truly are the heart and soul of Denver and the surrounding area.â
Casa Bonita fans came to the community event at My Brother’s Bar on Monday to raise a flag and raise awareness of efforts to save the entertainment destination of Lakewood.
Newman joined a diverse group to set up SaveCasaBonita.org. An accompanying online fundraising campaign raised over $ 65,000. Recently, the organization hired a lawyer to oversee the Casa Bonita Chapter 11 bankruptcy case and even bought some of the debt to get involved in the case.
âWe have interacted with the property over the past year at various levels of interest,â Newman said. “It just gets us closer to part of the bankruptcy process, so we’re included in all updates and hearings and everything.”
The organization hopes to either buy the restaurant and its intellectual property, or at least get involved to put it back on a solid footing. Creditors say they haven’t been paid for over a year.
Newman has already saved a Denver institution. He and his parents bought My Brother’s Bar in 2016 to save it from demolition and gentrification. It’s the oldest operating bar in Denver with a beloved cheeseburger.
âWe didn’t change the menu, we didn’t do anything, but we did things like add air conditioning and a computer system, accept credit cards. These are things that don’t detract from the experience, âhe said.
For Newman, helping save Casa Bonita is personal. He has a lot of memories of growing up and going to parties or dinners. His mother worked at Casa Bonita before leaving to start working at My Brother’s Bar decades ago, and his father was one of the first cliff divers to ever hire at Casa Bonita, but athletic eligibility for the university prevented him from accepting the post.
âWe just want to make sure that what makes this city unique, historically, holds up,â he said.