TULSA, Okla. — Tulsans are going crazy on social media over construction work at the old Casa Bonita building in east Tulsa.
A Tulsa landmark, as some remember it, known for its tasty sopapillas, little table flags, and caves is being ripped to pieces.
FOX23 reported when the restaurant closed for good in 2011, then opened as a nightclub. Now, debris is everywhere, dust fills the air and construction crews are clearing out the place.
Logan Harris grew up in Tulsa. He was back visiting when he heard about all the action and had to check it out. “We used to come here like every year for birthdays, like every birthday was like, we have to go to Casa Bonita because it was, you could have the whole party there, because all the games and all the stuff going on in there it was like a giant party place,” Harris told FOX23.
FOX23 asked construction crews who owns the place and got in touch with a man named Thai Bliaya. He said his business group, CGB Properties, bought the spot in May. On the Tulsa County Assessor’s website, the name is listed as an owner.
Bliaya told FOX23 Friday, “our plan is we’re going to have like a mini mall in here, like a small, little food court and plus have vendors inside here also as well, like probably like about 20 by 20 space or depending on how big somebody wants it.”
Bliaya was not living in Tulsa during the Casa Bonita glory days.
Victor Grimes, a longtime Tulsa firefighter remembers the restaurant fondly. “There was a room where kids would get different toys or whatever, tokens for playing games and all that kind of stuff, it was just a really neat thing, it wasn’t just meals, it was an experience,” said Grimes.
Grimes said he remembers the trees still standing inside the building Friday. Now that it’s full of debris and he’s learned of the future plans, he’s heartbroken.
He said, “we have shopping and all that kind of stuff everywhere, but things like Casa Bonita, it hurts to see stuff like that go away.” Bliaya said it will be a couple of years before the building is ready for any new business. In the meantime, the memories aren’t going anywhere.
The construction comes one year after “South Park” creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker announced that they were buying the original Casa Bonita location in Denver, with plans on renovating the restaurant and updating the menu.
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