Colorado Restaurant Reopens Without Social Distancing, Defying Governor

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Colorado Restaurant Reopens Without Social Distancing, Defying Governor

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Only in spring 2020 would a restaurant opening in a small Colorado city become national news. That is exactly what happened when C & C Breakfast and Korean Kitchen in Castle Rock flung open its doors to willing customers on Mother’s Day in defiance of Governor Jared Polis’ (D) executive order.

“We are standing for America, small businesses, the Constitution and against the overreach of our governor in Colorado!!” owners Jesse and April Arellano posted on the restaurant’s Twitter account Saturday as they announced their reopening.

The Arellanos’ faith in their neighbors paid off. According to the Washington Post, “every table was nearly full” on Sunday. “Customers crowded around the counter waiting for their orders. The line to place them went out the door, wrapping around the side of the building.” And — horror of horrors — “almost no one was wearing a face mask,” nor was social distancing practiced.

“So much for some of those people who said nobody would show up,” April Arellano said in a video of the crowd she posted on Facebook.

She told KDVR the restaurant served about 500 customers Sunday, almost double its normal Mother’s Day crowd. Some people had to wait two hours for a table, she told CBS4 Denver.

That didn’t stop state Representative Patrick Neville (R) from showing up to demonstrate his support for the Arellanos. “The owners are great people. My wife was hit by a car in front of their place a couple years ago and they came to check on her and my daughters. They brought my daughters hot cocoa and asked to pray for them. They made a lasting impression on my family and we wanted to show our support as they are providing for their families,” he told KDVR.

Under Polis’ order, restaurants are only permitted to serve delivery and take-out orders, and then only if they follow social-distancing guidelines. Restaurants that flout this edict “are not only breaking the law, they are endangering the lives of their staff, customers, and community,” Polis’ spokesperson told the Denver Post, adding, “Coloradans can contact their local public health department if they believe someone is violating [the order].”

At least one easily offended Coloradan did just that. Nick Whitehill showed up at C & C to pick up an order Sunday and was so upset by the display of normal living that he not only refused to take his order home but also posted photos of the crowd on Twitter to, in his words, “shame” the Arellanos — and filed a complaint with the Tri-County Health Department. In a statement to CBS4, the department said it would “follow up with this restaurant to ensure that they … take appropriate steps to protect the public health.”

It seems likely that the department means what it says. According to the Denver Post, “Tri-County health officials last week shut down the Water’s Edge Winery in Centennial because it was allowing customers to sit at tables on the patio and was ignoring social-distancing measures.”

“We knew that there’s consequences,” Jesse Arellano told CBS4. “We might be fined, maybe even jail, but we’re willing to make a statement if this is going to help wake up some of the congressmen and the governor.”

Of course, what Polis, Whitehill, and other lockdown proponents don’t seem to grasp is that their policies are destroying businesses both small and large and putting tens of millions of people out of work. The Arellanos told CBS4 “they’ve had to lay off most [of] their staff.”

The Denver Post reported:

[April] Arellano also wrote on Facebook that she “would go out of business if I don’t do something,” and said that “if I lose the business at least I’m fighting.”

“We are so behind,” she said in a comment on her post. “We have complied for two months. We cannot make it on $200/day sales when 2 staff cost me $250 not counting, food, cost, utilities and rent.”

“You can stand up and risk everything, we’re risking everything anyways as a small business,” Jesse Arellano told CBS4. “So if we’re going to crash and burn, we’re going to make our stand. Thank you to the many customers who came out to support us.”


Michael Tennant is a freelance writer and regular contributor to The New American.

Courtesy of The New American