Home » Casa Bonita files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy

Casa Bonita files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy

After more than a year closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Lakewood’s Casa Bonita has filed for bankruptcy.

Summit Family Restaurants, Casa Bonita’s parent company, filed for Chapter 11 protection in Arizona on April 6.

But that doesn’t mean the business is closing for good; the Chapter 11 filing should buy Casa Bonita more time to pay off its debts, which amount to $4.4 million, according to court documents. And it could even continue to operate in the meantime.

Court documents show that most of Casa Bonita’s debt is owed to its owner, Summit Family Restaurants, through a capital lease agreement. But after staying closed for the past year, the restaurant is losing around $40,000 a month, court filings state. Now Casa Bonita needs outside investment and a cash flow once again to save itself.

“The restaurant is in big trouble,” said Jaime Zender, finance professor with the University of Colorado Leeds School of Business. “As it looks now, without some infusion of cash, they would have to sell the building to satisfy their longterm debt.”

Put another way: The bankruptcy filing is Casa Bonita’s latest (and greatest) sign of life.

CASA BONITA: The definitive guide to Colorado’s world famous restaurant

Last month, the restaurant’s website announced simply that it would be reopening soon days after a group of local Casa Bonita fans launched an independent “Save Casa Bonita” fundraising campaign. Those fans said they would also be open to working with new investors in order to preserve the iconic business.

Their GoFundMe campaign has raised just over $16,000 to date, and a rally to continue the fundraiser’s momentum will take place in front of the Lakewood restaurant this coming Saturday.

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