Charles Phoenix visits Denver


Vintage slideshow presenter Charles Phoenix recently returned from my hometown of Denver, Colorado, where he visited a few of the retro-highights that the Mile High City has to offer, including The Cruise Room (a 1933 art deco bar), Arapahoe Acres (a mid-century post and beam modern neighborhood), Rockmount Ranch Wear (a western clothing store owned by a 106-year-old fellow who still comes to work every day), and the famous "Mexican" restaurant, Casa Bonita:

My number one priority was having a delicious Mexican dinner (and it was delicious alright!) at one of the most over the top themed restaurants ever and timeless-classic monument to kitsch, CASA BONITA. This very well preserved, and still-amazing-after-all-the years, Americana classic of the highest order is a spellbinding time warp of the year it was built, 1973. It's worth a trip from anywhere to experience. Eight or so individually themed dining rooms overlook a central two story waterfall where human divers take the plunge Acapulco style every twenty minutes. Each dining room is more amazing than the next. There's the stalagmite and stalactite room; the western room; Aztec jungle room; the Cinderella and Prince Charming Room and several others. You can even have dinner behind bars in jail. They also have a baby-scale puppet theater, scary walk-through monster cave, temptation filled gift shop and beret-wearing caricature artist. I can't wait to go back!

Charles is being kind about the quality of the food there. When I was a kid the owner of Casa Bonita made a TV commercial to quell the rumors that the restaurant prepared their dishes with dog food.

Here are some YouTube videos of Casa Bonita: Casa Bonita 2001, Cliff Diver at Casa Bonita, Casa Bonita Walk It Out