Health department issues cease and desist order to Calhan restaurants

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COLORADO SPRINGS (KXRM) — The El Paso County Health Department issues cease and desist order to Calhan restaurants that opened dine-in services in defiance of Colorado’s safer-at-home guidance, the department confirmed Thursday.

The owners of Karen’s Kafe and Stephanie’s Bar and Grill and Western Omelette in Calhan each opened their dining rooms, capping off customers at 50% capacity, on Wednesday and Thursday.

They told FOX21 they have yet to receive a cease and desist order.

“We want to open no matter what, and that’s what we are doing, opening no matter what,” Cheyenne Reed with Karen’s Kafe said.

On Thursday, parking lots at both locations were nearly full. Some customers drove from all parts of the state including Denver and Yoder.

“This shutdown is killing the businesses it’s time to open up the country and move on,” customer James Richardson.

Western Omelette has two locations in Colorado Springs but owner Bill Borders says his Calhan location is different.

“We’re a small country town, so we are different,” Borders said. “People out here have desired for us to take care of them.”

Borders says he and Karen Starr, Owner of Karen’s Kafe, and Stephanie’s Bar & Grill are defending their rights by choosing to open their dining rooms.

“Her and I are willing to do what we need to do, we have constitutional rights,” Borders said.

Both owners and their employees have an issue with the current Safer-at-Home guidance because it fails to include the opening of dine-in services.

“It’s our choice whether we want to stay-in, if we have a choice to go to a salon, tattoo shop, we should have the choice to eat at a restaurant,” Reed said.

The El Paso County Board of Commissioners wouldn’t comment specifically on this matter but they are working with the health department to develop a variance waiver to open places of worship and restaurants early.

In a statement to FOX21, a spokesperson said the following:

“We have directed county staff, and asked public health, to develop a plan that hospitals can agree with and commissioners can vote on as quickly as possible. Public Health has indicated they will start writing the necessary plans and coordinate with local hospitals immediately. The Board will hold a public meeting and a vote once Public Health and our local hospitals have agreed on the plan forward.”

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