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Cars poured into Lakewood from across Colorado and even nearby states one day in 1974, their passengers eager to dive into the massive pink palace with the 85-foot tower: Casa Bonita.  Decades ahead of the “eatertainment” boom of the early 2000s, Bill Waugh had opened the first Casa Bonita in Oklahoma City in 1968, then followed with an even more elaborate spot in metro Denver, on the site of the former tuberculosis sanitarium that was then the JCRS Shopping Center. On Colfax Avenue, of course.

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