Governor Suspends Castle Rock Restaurant’s License After Mother’s Day Opening Goes Viral

May 11, 2020
A screengrab from a Twitter video showing customers inside C&C Coffee and Kitchen in Castle Rock, Colo., on May 10, 2020

Gov. Jared Polis, calling the restaurant an "immediate health hazard," has suspended the restaurant license of C&C Breakfast & Korean Kitchen in Castle Rock, a day after a video showing a packed dining room in defiance of public health rules.

During a press conference on Monday, Polis said that he was extremely disappointed to see videos of restaurants breaking the law on Sunday. 

“We all have laws that we agree with and laws we disagree with. But it's our responsibility as Coloradans, and as Americans, to follow the law," Polis said.

He said the state is walking a tightrope between protecting people's health and limiting the spread of COVID-19, and trying to grow the economy — and that the people who are breaking the laws are "shaking the rope."

"Customers will return in mass when they feel safe. When people see videos of people packed into a restaurant with no social distancing and no masks, people feel less safe and the widespread economic pain will only be prolonged," Polis said.

Polis’ announcement followed news that Tri-County Health Department ordered C&C to close. The health department warned the restaurant on Friday not to open, but the now-viral video shows it was open to dine-in service — with dozens of people sitting to eat and only a few people wearing masks — on Sunday. It has been ordered to remain closed until Tri-County determines that it is in compliance with the health order. 

Polis said the license would be suspended indefinitely — at least for 30 days.

Restaurants and bars have been closed to dining and have only been able to do delivery and pick up service since March 19 

“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,” said John Douglas, Jr.,the executive director of Tri-County Health Department in a statement.

The restaurant posted a tweet on Saturday, saying that it was standing for small businesses and the Constitution. 

At his press conference, Polis said that people who are tempted to break the law should pause and think about those who are suffering from the coronavirus or those who have lost loved ones. He said a Mother's Day brunch was not worth the risk of possibly spreading COVID-19. He said he didn't get to see his mom or take her out to lunch for the holiday.

"I love my mom far too much to put her at risk by visiting a busy restaurant operating illegally just to take a selfie with omelets and a mimosa," he said.

Polis added, "We hope and we pray that nobody who went to C&C Coffee and Kitchen had coronavirus, and we hope that everybody is safe."

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