‘If I lose the business at least I’m fighting…’
Gov. Jared Polis said on Monday that C&C Coffee and Kitchen, which drew dozens of customers eager to support the business on Sunday, will not be permitted to legally operate because it created an “immediate health hazard” by reopening.
“I hope, I pray that nobody falls sick from businesses that chose to violate the law,” Polis said during a press conference, according to the Denver Post.
“But if the state didn’t act and more businesses followed suit, it’s a near guarantee that people would lose their lives and it would further delay the opening of legitimate businesses.”
The Tri-County Health Department said it had warned C&C Coffee and Kitchen not to reopen its dining room on Mother’s Day, but the restaurant’s owner, April Arellano, said that the health department’s threats weren’t going to stop her.
“We are so behind,” she said on Facebook. “We have complied for two months. We cannot make it on $200/day sales when 2 staff cost me $250 not counting, food, cost, utilities and rent.”
Now, Arellano has lost her license for at least the next 30 days, or until the Tri-County Health Department sees fit.
“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,” said John Douglas Jr., the executive director of the Tri-County Health Department, in a statement, according to Colorado Public Radio.
“It is not fair to the rest of the community and other business owners that are following safer at home,” he said.
Videos of C&C Coffee and Kitchen this weekend showed a packed restaurant, and Polis blasted the customers for prioritizing their own interests over the well-being of the public. Polis added that he didn’t get to see his mother or take her out to lunch for Mother’s Day.
“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.
Arellano knew that the loss of her restaurant’s license was a risk when she reopened. But she said she didn’t care.
“If I lose the business at least I’m fighting,” she wrote on Facebook.