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Casa Bonita employees get free language classes amid renovations

New owners of iconic Casa Bonita are spending millions to improve the restaurant, they also paid for Spanish, English classes so employees can communicate better.

LAKEWOOD, Colo. — In an effort to improve communication in the kitchen and bring employees together, 29 Casa Bonita employees just completed a weeks-long program to improve their language skills. 

From divers to cooks, Casa Bonita employees took Spanish and English classes this summer and were awarded on Thursday for completing a 26-week-long program. 

“This helped integrate the Spanish and the English speakers, which is really cool,” Beau Gentry, a diver said. 

Alex Perez, who’s worked at Casa Bonita for 30 years, said English classes helped him understand past, present and future tense better. 

“Good experience because we learned more vocabulary,” Perez said. 

The creators of South Park, Matt Stone and Trey Parker bought Casa Bonita for $3.1 million. 

9NEWS revealed earlier this summer the duo is spending millions more on renovations to improve the restaurant’s kitchen and accessibility. 

Casa Bonita Executive Chef Dana Rodriguez told 9NEWS the goal of the language program was to break down language barriers and bring employees together. 

“You invest in your employees. That’s the best thing you can do because you start a new culture. A new era on how we can treat our employees and how we can help them to have better lives,” Rodriguez said.

9NEWS asked Rodriguez how she planned on improving the food at the restaurant given Casa Bonita’s reputation for being the best at having an indoor diving pool, but not being the best at cuisine. 

“We are going to make food real. That’s a big word. We are going to create everything in-house. If there are tortillas on the menu, they’re going to be made in-house. And you’re going to see it yourself,” Rodriguez said. “We are going to make everything fresh.” 

Rodriguez acknowledged there is still a lot of work to be done at the restaurant and couldn’t give a ballpark opening date. 

If you have any information about this story or would like to send a news tip, you can contact jeremy@9news.com.

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