Casa Bonita restaurant says adios to Tulsa

Casa Bonita Mexican restaurant at 2120 S. Sheridan Road is closed. SHERRY BROWN / Tulsa World

Casa Bonita, the iconic Mexican-style restaurant at 21st Street and Sheridan Road, has closed, according to a sign posted outside.

The restaurant never reopened after this month's snowstorms and appears to be permanently out of business.

"We thank you - For your years of visiting and (dining) with us," the sign reads. "We are sorry to say that we are closed for business."

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Casa Bonita was known for its quirky Mexican decor and massive forest and waterfall settings. At times it featured puppet shows, mariachi bands and magicians to add to the over-the-top atmosphere.

The 35,000-square-foot building is in the Shops at Alameda shopping center.

Neither the shopping center's owner, Igal Namdar of New York state, or the leasing agent, McDowell & Associates of Tulsa, has been contacted by Casa Bonita owner Star Buffet Inc., representatives of the property companies said.

Calls to Scottsdale, Ariz.-based Star Buffet were not returned to the Tulsa World, and the company appears to be struggling financially, according to documents filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Star Buffet, which operates 32 restaurants nationwide, has closed 11 other restaurants, according to public filings.

The company was also notified by the New York Stock Exchange that its common stock has dipped below the $1 million threshold required for public listing.

Star Buffet's most recent quarterly filing for the period that ended Aug. 9 showed a $1.3 million loss.

Casa Bonita has been in Tulsa since 1971 but was closed from 2005 until reopening in 2008. Star Buffet has been its sole owner.

Kyle Arnold 581-8380 SUBHEAD: Its owner, Star Buffet Inc., is apparently in financial straits.

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