Could beloved Colorado restaurant Casa Bonita be owned by the creators of the television show that made it a household name in the first place?
If "South Park" creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone have anything to say about it, they will.
To quote main character Eric Cartman: "Sweet!"
"We want to buy Casa Bonita and treat it right. I feel like it was neglected even before the pandemic," Trey Parker told the Hollywood Reporter on Wednesday. "We are absolutely trying to buy it."
The show's Twitter account seemingly confirmed the report from the Hollywood Reporter.
“We are going to do everything we can," Parker pledged. "We want to make it right and make it amazing.”
Casa Bonita filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in April of this year amid the COVID-19 pandemic, according to court documents. The massive restaurant features cliff divers and a waterfall, an arcade, a cave to explore and a number of other features.
Parker wrote the eponymous 2003 episode about the restaurant, which features Cartman going to great lengths to get invited to a birthday party at the restaurant being thrown by his "frenemy" Kyle Broflovski. Cartman attempts to prove he can be a good person in order to score an invitation, but when those efforts fail, he convinces fellow classmate Butters Stotch, who was invited to the party, to hide, leading to the rest of the town thinking he has gone missing.
Cartman eventually scores an invite to the restaurant, but as they arrive, Kyle's mother receives a call that Butters has been found and, having realized Cartman's chicanery, informs the devious 10-year-old that the police are on their way to arrest him. The episode ends with a memorable scene of Cartman sprinting through the restaurant to enjoy all it has to offer before his eventual arrest – eating the restaurant's iconic sopapillas, exploring 'Black Bart's Cave' (a real attraction at the Lakewood, Colorado, restaurant), taking a novelty photo and culminating with a cliff dive over the restaurant's iconic waterfall.
"Well, kid, you made an entire town panic, you lost all your friends, and now you're going to juvenile hall for a week," a police officer says as Cartman lays in the water beneath the falls. "Was it worth it?"
"Totally," a groggy Cartman replies.
In 2014, the restaurant's general manager told the Denver Post that the episode helped to boost their business.
“Our demographics have changed slightly because of the ‘South Park’ episode,” Mike Mason said. “We are now cool with the 18-25- year-olds.”
The restaurant, a beloved childhood haunt for Parker and Stone, was also featured in a 2017 "South Park" video game.
The duo, who won multiple Emmys for "South Park," as well as multiple Tony Awards and a Grammy for the smash Broadway hit "The Book of Mormon," have big plans for the restaurant if the sale goes through.
"We started talking about the changes we’re going to make — mostly with the food," Parker told the Hollywood Reporter. "We’re going to make really awesome food. I was already thinking about how I was going to make Black Bart’s Cave a little bigger."
Andrew Novick, who organized the group Save Casa Bonita to save the restaurant, told Colorado CBS affiliate KCNC-TV that Parker and Stone "are the obvious choice" to save the restaurant.
"The number one goal is it doesn’t go away," Novick added. "I think we have a lot of parallel goals in a lot of ways. We all want to save this restaurant. This is a place we grew up going."
"It’s just sitting there. It sucks," Parker said of the restaurant. “For a moment when it was like, ‘Casa Bonita is going to close down,’ we said, ‘We’re going to go buy it.’ And I felt like it was the crowning achievement of my life."
The company that owns the restaurant, Summit Family Restaurants, did not respond to a request for comment from the Hollywood Reporter.
Parker was also nominated for an Academy Award in 1999 for Best Original Song for "Blame Canada" from "South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut." The late Robin Williams delivered an iconic rendition of the song at the 1999 Academy Awards.
In 2019, "South Park," still one of Comedy Central's highest-rated programs, was renewed through 2022. More than 300 episodes of the show have aired as of March 2021.