Customers taped donations to the window of a coffee shop in Colorado which was ordered closed Tuesday after they defied the governor’s lockdown order and opened over the weekend.
A photo circulating on social media shows the front window of the C&C Breakfast and Korean Kitchen in Castle Rock plastered with donations.
Support for C&C Coffee & Kitchen in Castle Rock displayed in CASH taped to entrance. By our count, $289… business shut down by @GovofCO & @TCHDHealth.
More this afternoon 3-7pMT @710KNUS pic.twitter.com/rdYvRqeZud
— The Steffan Tubbs Show🇺🇸🎙️🎧 (@TubbsShow) May 12, 2020
The shop enjoyed two busy days of foot traffic after opening on Sunday and again on Monday, despite various warnings by county and state officials to abide by the coronavirus stay-at-home directives, which dictate restaurants can open at the end of May.
Footage showing hundreds of customers inside the shop Sunday spread on social media after the business announced it would defy lockdown orders and open for Mother’s Day.
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
After the footage went viral, C&C owner Jesse Arellano said people began calling him racist and he received death threats.
“I had one person call me a Nazi and a white supremacist, and I said well I’m not even white so… I’m Spanish and Korean. We’ve had people say they want to burn the place down and hope we all die from coronavirus,” Arellano told local media.
He argued the business provided plenty of space for social distancing, and argued the coronavirus threat isn’t very high in Douglas County.
“Look around, look how much space we have here. We have a huge parking lot you know? We’ve got huge parks. We’ve got all this free air and what we’re going to do is carry bacteria in our masks? That doesn’t seem logical to me.”
Arellano added he believed his business would fail, as many other businesses have done, if he didn’t immediately open his doors and turn a profit.
“We need to start doing something about this before we all crash and burn. I know there’s a lot of restaurants here shutting their doors. We’re losing a lot of our very small, interesting cultural restaurants. We’re losing all those.”
The business owner added it seemed “backwards” to impose more restrictive lockdown measures, especially as the virus threat appears to be receding.
“You know there’s lies. Dang lies… it’s statistics. The projection said 100,000 people are going to die in April. That didn’t happen. The numbers you know, they keep going down and you know, we keep getting more restrictive it seems backwards to me.”
Ahead of opening Sunday, Arellano’s wife April echoed similar sentiments on social media, saying the business could not survive on to-go orders.
“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.”
The Denver Post reported the owners could face a fine of up to a $1,000, or one year in jail for violating the Governor’s order.
Meanwhile, a GoFundMe page started in support of the restaurant has raised nearly $15,000 as of writing.
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