Colorado's most famous restaurant is back open, just in a different capacity than we are used to... Casa Bonita is now open for guided tours.
The fountain in front is dry, but the doors are open.
Familiar sounds of mariachi music are piped through speakers in the ceiling, and strings of flicker lights illuminate the faux Mexican village facades.
Free tours are being offered at Casa Bonita every hour from 11 a.m. - 9 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and until 10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.
There are T-shirts and trinkets available near the entrance, but the real draw is a chance to see a place so intertwined with Colorado lore in a way you’ve never seen it before— empty.
There’s a strong smell — (cleaning fluid?) when I enter on this particular day. Perhaps it’s just the smell of a building that’s been closed to the public for more than a year.