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Casa Bonita

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1974, Philip H. Phillips. 6715 W. Colfax Ave.

An old store in the JCRS Shopping Center has been remodeled into a south-of-the-border fantasy. The 82-foot-high pink stucco bell tower with a balustraded observation deck is a three-tiered, Spanish Baroque apparition crowned by a life-size warrior with spear, shield, and plumed helmet. Inside, under a high black ceiling simulating a tropical night, the decor caters to the romantic stereotypes of Mexico cherished by North Americans. A Spanish tile floor winds through a jungle of concrete palm trees, plastic ferns, and strolling, strumming mariachis. Tables overlook a three-tiered fountain on a lagoon, where diners can choose a thatched roof cabaña or a ferny grotto. Smiling señoritas deliver the margaritas, while fire jugglers dive off cliffs into the lagoon. This 52,000-square-foot complex— with a tropical jungle, 30-foot waterfall, pirates' hideout, a mercado, and other marvels—is the largest link in a chain of Casa Bonitas.

Writing Credits

Thomas J. Noel


What's Nearby


Thomas J. Noel, "Casa Bonita", [Lakewood, Colorado], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Buildings of Colorado, Thomas J. Noel. New York: Oxford University Press, 1997, 158-159.

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