CASTLE ROCK, Colo. (KDVR) — A Castle Rock breakfast restaurant opened for full service Sunday morning despite the standing public health order in Colorado requiring restaurants to remain closed to in-person dining.
About five hundred people dined at C&C Coffee and Kitchen for breakfast and brunch on Mother’s Day.
“The restaurant buzzed and that’s what I missed,” owner April Arellano told FOX31. “I got thanked from so many moms. I’m a mom too and just to be able to go out and sit down and not have to do the dishes.”
April and her husband Jesse have owned the small restaurant for the past seven years. When they first opened, they sold their home and moved into a small apartment to fund the business. Business eventually picked up. Now though, they are struggling again during the shutdown.
“If we had a big bank account we’d be fine. We don’t have a big bank account. We’re just everyday people working trying to make a living,” Jesse said.
According to Jesse, their finances were behind the decision to open for one day only.
“It looks like we might be crashing and burning going bankrupt and we’re done and you know what? We’ll just give one last hurrah to our customers to eat here,” Jesse said.
Videos from their breakfast rush show a packed restaurant with little to no social distancing. Almost no one was wearing a mask.
“These restaurants are not only breaking the law, they are endangering the lives of their staff, customers, and community,” Gov. Jared Polis said in a statement.
Colorado Rep. Patrick Neville was among the hundreds inside the restaurant Sunday morning. He posed for a photo with April Arellano. He was not wearing a mask.
“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,” Rep. Neville said in a statement.
While C&C opened their doors to turn a profit, they say they also did it to make a statement on the current restrictions to restaurants.
“It seems like right now it’s very one-sided to big businesses,” Jesse said. “You can go buy weed. You can do a lot of silly things I think but you can’t open a restaurant.”
FOX31 asked the Arellanos if they are worried at all about an outbreak of COVID-19 among their customers following Mother’s Day brunch.
“Everyone that we talked to in there is willing to take the risk,” Jesse said.
C&C posted signs on the doors that said:
OUR FREEDOM DOESN’T END WHERE YOUR FEAR BEGINS
IF YOU ARE SCARED STAY AT HOME!
IF YOU ARE AFRAID TO BE WITHIN 6FT OF ANOTHER PERSON
DO NOT ENTER THIS BUSINESS!
GOD BLESS AMERICA
LAND OF THE “FREE”
AND HOME OF THE BRAVE”
According to Jesse, the signs and the opening of the restaurant are not meant to be political.
“It’s a choice. If they don’t want to come out, don’t come out,” he said. “That’s what we’re fighting for is freedom. This is America. If we don’t want to wear a mask, we don’t want to wear a mask. We want to wear a mask, we want to wear a mask.”
According to the Arellanos, Tri-County Health Department contacted them on Friday to tell them not to reopen. However, they say no one from the health department interfered with their restaurant service Sunday morning.
“I think we’ll probably be hearing from them tomorrow,” Jesse said.
FOX31 reached out to Tri-County Health for comment but did not receive a response.