Colorado restaurant draws large Mother’s Day crowds in defiance of state order

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A restaurant in Colorado drew large crowds on Sunday despite a public health order limiting businesses in the state to takeout and delivery services amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Crowds packed into Castle Rock’s C&C Coffee and Kitchen for its Mother’s Day rush.

The restaurant’s owner, April Arellano, had reportedly said she would go out of business if she didn’t “do something.”

The lines were long and it appeared that in some cases social distancing was not enforced. Some customers were without masks.

“It was unbelievable,” said one resident, who went to pick up food at the restaurant, but left before paying after seeing the crowds, according to the Denver Post.

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“I wasn’t even going to eat the food even if I had gotten it,” he said. “I walked in, took the picture, and turned right around.”

Under the state’s safer-at-home mandate, residents are not required to stay at home, and non-critical business are currently operating with certain restrictions to limit the spread of the virus.

A placard of rules for customers to follow hangs on the door of a boutique as retail businesses are allowed to open their doors to customers for the first time in almost two months with the expiration of the city's stay-at-home order to check the spread of the new coronavirus Saturday, May 9, 2020, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
A placard of rules for customers to follow hangs on the door of a boutique as retail businesses are allowed to open their doors to customers for the first time in almost two months with the expiration of the city’s stay-at-home order to check the spread of the new coronavirus Saturday, May 9, 2020, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis’ office issued a statement on Sunday denouncing the actions of C&C Coffee and Kitchen.

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“These restaurants are not only breaking the law, they are endangering the lives of their staff, customers, and community,” said deputy press secretary Shelby Wieman, according to the Denver Post.

A health official told the paper that violating the state’s public health order could result in a $1,000 fine or up to a year in jail. Businesses who violate the order could also have their licenses revoked.

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While delivery and takeout options are available if restaurants follow social distancing guidelines, the order says dine-in services cannot be offered until at least May 26.

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