Thousands of northeast Oklahomans grew up enjoying the wonders of Casa Bonita in Tulsa. The Mexican restaurant at 21st and Sheridan is closing and the chances to revisit those memories are quickly dwindling.
The restaurant's last day is Friday. News on 6 reporter Rick Wells stopped by for a last look around.
"This is the original cave." We found Larry Lawrence; he's been working at Casa Bonita for more than 20 years. He used to do the puppet shows back in the theater. The cave is a popular dining room at Casa Bonita. Part of it is two stories with tables up top. "You see these lanterns, originally some of those like that one were gas lights." A Tulsa fire marshal put a stop to that.
Another favorite is the Acapulco Room with its 30 foot waterfall.
Casa Bonita has been home to family gatherings and birthday parties since it opening in 1971, not much time left for that. Every table in every room has a flag. You want more sopapillas; you put your flag up.
There are lots of favorite things kids will remember, the automated marionettes outside the theater. The treasure room with its chest full of trinkets and Curious George on the high wire.
Then there are the games in the arcade. We found Philip Quinn and his family in the arcade. Philip used to come here with church groups as a kid. "The line would be out the door." They are visiting Tulsa from Louisiana, avoiding the hurricanes. He didn't know Casa Bonita was closing but is glad he had the chance to say adios to some childhood memories.
Casa Bonita's lease is up at the end of September. That is why the restaurant is closing. A new tenant will take over the space around the end of October. There is no word yet about when something new might open there.