Colorado diner that defied state’s public health order in May closes its doors permanently

Posted at 7:29 PM, Jul 28, 2020

A Castle Rock, Colorado, restaurant that defied the state’s public health order in May to remain solvent in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic has closed its doors permanently.

C&C Breakfast & Korean Kitchen in Castle Rock attracted national attention after it opened its doors to the public on Mother’s Day weekend, despite Colorado’s safer-at-home guidelines prohibiting restaurants from opening except for curbside delivery and take out.

In a message posted on the restaurant’s Facebook page, owners Jesse and April Arellano told customers Friday they would not renew their lease at the Castle Rock location “to try and stop the financial bleeding” between their two locations, and said Gov. Jared Polis used them as an example “to ensure other businesses obey him.”

The Arellanos also decried what they described as “the hypocrisy of the lockdowns” and the way it scrutinized small businesses during the shutdowns and blamed government officials for making decisions from a place of fear and panic instead of hope.

“I was asked what I would say to him (Gov. Polis), I would say “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?””

The closure of the Castle Rock location was met with a lawsuit from the owners, who claimed their constitutional rights were violated after the state suspended the café’s license for 30 days when video of the crowded restaurant went viral.

The lawsuit blamed Gov. Polis, the State of Colorado, the CDPHE, the Tri-County Health Department (TCHD), and the executive director of the CDPHE, Jill Hunsaker Ryan, of depriving the Arellanos “of their livelihood and ability to operate their business after they simply allowed customers onto their premises to serve food and beverages.”

The Arellanos were able to reopen for business on June 14, a month after they were forced to close their doors.

The C&C location in Colorado Springs will remain open as long as it can, the Arellanos said in the Facebook post.

“If our business survives all of this, we hope one day to return to CR."

This article was written by Óscar Contreras for KMGH.