Before you panic, thinking you haven't had the chance to check out Casa Bonita yet and it's already closing—that is NOT the restaurant closing down. Their head chef, Dana Rodriguez, has been a Denver area chef and restaurateur since moving to Colorado in the late 90s, with her hand in—um, a handful—of other Mexican eateries for quite some time.

Before she was chosen to lead the resurgence of Casa Bonita's stardom with a revamped menu, she had already been delightfully cooking up some quality eats at places like Super Mega Bien and Work & Class around Denver as a co-owner and executive chef.

And then, just about two and a half years ago, at 2880 Zuni St., she opened an authentic Mexican street food restaurant called Cantina Loca — her nickname namesake — to much fanfare and sparkling reviews.

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Tacos, tacos, some tequila and more tacos were the real deal at Cantina Loca, even making their own in-house tequila and mezcal called Doña Loca.

Unfortunately, even though the place started out strong and has had really great reviews, according to The Denver Post, Cantina Loca has closed its doors in part due to declining guest numbers and increased food and labor costs, and said in a statement:

While we started out strong, our guest numbers decreased over the past two years while food expenses and labor costs skyrocketed. Cantina Loca, like dozens of other Denver restaurants, is an unfortunate casualty of conditions that were out of our control.

We appreciate the support of our loyal guests very much and look forward to serving them at our other restaurant concepts.

The restaurant is currently for sale with no word on a new owner or if the concept will remain as of yet. Their website has already been taken down as well.

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Gallery Credit: Chris Kelly