30 MILES OF CRAZY! 45: Casa Bonita

It’s Friday! Time for another ‘tru-ish’ tale about Colfax and the Mile High City. A new 30 MILES OF CRAZY! (#45)! This week: Casa Bonita… or… NO, SOUTH PARK DID NOT MAKE IT UP. IT ACTUALLY EXISTS!

A few thoughts on Casa Bonita.

  • It actually exists, down in Lakewood CO, along West Colfax.
  • It is a Denver institution, where most of the population has been there at least once.
  • While there were once several Casa Bonita restaurants in different states, the one in Denver is the last one (opening in 1974.)

I have been there and can say that I’m not a fan. Reasons being….

  • It’s kind of like a large Mexican Chuck E. Cheese on acid. Prepare your brain.
  • While there are many attractions to the place and hidden nooks and corners to be found, as a restaurant you have to purchase a meal (they are a business after all.) Some people do enjoy the food there, while I always felt that the daily fare their makes Taco Bell look like haute cuisine.
  • Everyone that I know that adores Casa Bonita (getting that cultist wide eyed glaze in their eyes at the mere mention of the establishment) falls into two camps (or more than likely, a mixture of the two): happy rose colored memories of a place they have been going there since they were children or because of the massively high camp factor (which it has in spades.)
  • If I remember correct, it does serve booze. You will need it. Your brain will be overloaded, your liver will hate you, but you will survive.

I’ll let the comic say the rest. This is all just scratching the surface of the Lynchian weirdness that permeates the walls of this place. Don’t believe me? Here’s a small video about Casa Bonita that I found.

… and yes, my buddy does wear a fez.

So… Musical Accompaniment! Ready! Set! Go!



30 MILES OF CRAZY! 43: A Question of Priorities

It’s Friday! Time for another ‘tru-ish’ tale about Colfax and the Mile High City. A new 30 MILES OF CRAZY! (#43)! This week: A Question of Priorities… or… YES, I DID ANOTHER COMIC STRIP THAT TAKES PLACE AT THE LION’S LAIR.

The World Famous Lion’s Lair… No frills space for a beer and a shot. The bar has been there for years (I hear various stories, but can be traced back to the 50’s or 20s [as a dancehall] depending who you ask) and to me, best represents what Colfax Avenue is: barebones, down low, dirty place full of stories and awesome characters.

This was also one of the first bars I found myself in when I finally moved to Denver (living only a couple blocks away also helps).

This was also one of the first bars I found myself in when I finally moved to Denver (living only a couple blocks away also helps). Not only had I been hearing about that place for years (even before I started visiting the city), but at that first night there was able to see one of the best, most welcoming (at least to me) events after I’d only been living in the Mile High City for less than a month. If Denver was some sort of communicable disease, I got it that night from the sheer press of the crowd around me. Yes, it was Slim Cessna’s Auto Club show in such an intimate setting.

Yes, I used the word ‘intimate’ which in all ways seems wrong. It kind of brings to mind singer/songwriters strumming on acoustic guitars, singing about their lost cat by candlelight… which is totally not the case if you’ve ever set foot in the place. The size of the Lair is so small that you can be punched on one side of the bar and still hit the wall of the other, likely hitting a half a dozen band stickers that have been placed there over the years (I can still find the sticker of a local Philly band that I saw many times in the 90’s among the collection of band debris scattered over the Lair’s walls). That first night, and most other nights I’ve been there for shows are cramped, beer soaked, rowdy, near riots. People yelling for drinks or at each other; booze being tossed onto the floor, over the patrons, and down their gullets; shoving matches that could be called dancing or drunken stumbles; and music blaring over everything, demanding some attention. Events that have to be experienced to be believed.

… so there it is. (I’m sure I was at that show as well.)

… Ready… Set…  Musical Accompaniment… and GO!