CASTLE ROCK, Colo. (KDVR) — Gov. Jared Polis suspended a Colorado restaurant’s license indefinitely after a viral video showed it packed with people on Sunday, defying public health orders.
The governor called C&C Breakfast & Korean Kitchen an “immediate health hazard” on Monday.
Earlier Monday, the Tri-County Health Department ordered C&C to close its doors, but the owner said they planned to be open again Tuesday morning.
In the viral video, customers are not wearing masks and not practicing social distancing.
“It’s America. You should be able to do what you want,” said Tyler Magana, a C&C customer.
The café opened despite the standing public health order requiring restaurants to remain closed to in-person dining. The owners said they are on the verge of bankruptcy and opened to make a statement.
“I think people are ready to open up, and we want to exercise our freedom and not let our elected leaders always tell us what’s best for our health,” co-owner Jesse Arellanos said.
But the owners are also drawing criticism from other restaurant owners who are following state guidelines.
“I’m going through the same thing myself. I totally understood the financial impact. What I didn’t understand was the health and safety of their staff and guests,” Chris Fuselier, owner of Blake Street Tavern said.
The Tri-County Health Department issued a statement that said, in part:
“It is disheartening that this restaurant has chosen to move ahead of the public orders and not even consider implementing best practices to prevent the spread of COVID-19. It is not fair to the rest of the community and other business owners that are following safer at home and doing their part.”
The owners plan to continue to keep their doors open.
“Everyone that we talked to in there is willing to take the risk,” Arellanos said.