A restaurant in Colorado received an influx of customers amid a Mother’s Day grand re-opening, but others complained to county officials the business was in violation of lockdown orders.
People flocked to C&C Coffee and Kitchen in Castle Rock on Sunday, with photos showing a ton of customers carrying on normally with few wearing face masks or adhering to social distancing guidelines.
Happy Mother’s Day from C& C in Castle Rock, where the owner said this is almost double a normal Mother’s Day. pic.twitter.com/cPSzjmAfAg
— Nick Puckett (@nick__puckett) May 10, 2020
The shop’s owner, April Arellano, said she had no choice but to open considering the economic toll of the coronavirus stay-at-home directives.
“We are so behind. We have complied for two months,” Arellano wrote on Twitter. “We cannot make it on $200/day sales when 2 staff cost me $250 not counting food, cost, utilities, and rent.”
“[We will] go out of business if I don’t do something,” she added. “[I]f I lose the business, at least I’m fighting.”
On Facebook, Arellano noted local authorities had been made aware she’d be opening the store in defiance of Governor Jared Polis’ orders, but said she’d still open regardless.
“Someone called tricounty [health department] and said that we will be opening… I’m still opening though,” she wrote, inviting customers to visit.
In a video circulating on social media, customers are seen dining inside the packed out C&C Coffee with several customers waiting in line to order.
A sign printed up by Arellano warned customers who were afraid of being infected with COVID-19 to “stay at home” and “not enter this business.”
“ATTENTION! Our freedom doesn’t end where your fear begins,” the sign stated.
“If you are scared stay at home. If you are afraid to be within 6ft of another person do not enter this business!”
C&C Coffee in a tweet tagging President Donald Trump wrote they are “standing for America, small businesses, the Constitution and against the overreach of our governor in Colorado.”
— C&C Coffee and Kitchen (@cccoffeekitchen) May 9, 2020
One person who ordered curbside pickup at the restaurant told a local media outlet he left without his food because when he arrived he observed workers and customers weren’t wearing masks.
“I wasn’t even going to eat the food even if I had gotten it,” he said. “I walked in, took the picture and turned right around.”
The Denver Post reports Arellano could face a fine of up to a $1,000, or one year in jail for violating the Governor’s order.
A spokeswoman for the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment said no one was available Sunday to discuss the restaurant’s reopening and what might be done about it, but said violating the state public health order is a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of $1,000 or up to a year in jail.
The Post adds the restaurant could also have its business license revoked.
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