Health department orders Castle Rock restaurant to close

C&C Kitchen and Cafe reopened for dine-in service on Mother's Day


Editor's note: C&C Coffee and Kitchen was closed on Tuesday, May 12. An article on new developments will appear soon on this website.

The Tri-County Health Department has ordered a Castle Rock restaurant to close after it reopened its doors to full dine-in service May 10, allowing dozens of customers inside despite public health orders put in place in March because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

C&C Coffee and Kitchen, a breakfast and Korean kitchen at 4284 Trail Boss Drive, continued to operate in the hours after the May 11 order to close was issued by Tri-County. At least 20 customers could be seen in the restaurant as of early afternoon.

On Mother's Day, C&C had a line out the door about 10 a.m. Families of all sizes filed in past a “bouncer” with a visible sidearm. Every seat was taken as folks dined in. The floor was packed with people standing, waiting for coffee or take-out orders. One person could be seen wearing a mask inside the building.

“I expected it to be busy. I never expected this," owner April Arellano said. "I'm so happy so many people came out to support the Constitution and stand up for what is right. We did our time. We did our two weeks. We did more than two weeks…and we were failing. We had to do something.”

Arellano posted on Facebook stating the Castle Rock Police Department notified the Tri-County Health Department of the violation of Colorado Order 20-28, stating all restaurants must cease dine-in service until at least May 31.

“No mask no problem btw,” the Facebook post reads.

Shortly after noon May 11, Tri-County Health Department issued a news release saying it had ordered the business to close. The health department had warned the restaurant not to open on May 8, according to the release. Arellano did not respond to a Colorado Community Media reporter's request for comment regarding the order to close.

“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," John Douglas, Tri-County's executive director, said in the news release. "It is not fair to the rest of the community and other business owners that are following Safer at Home and doing their part. We sincerely hope that C&C will choose to cooperate with the rules under which they are allowed to operate so we can lift this closure order."

On May 10, Arellano said she was not concerned at all by the fact no customers wore masks or chose to social distance themselves. Arellano said she did not believe the crowd of people in her business was a public health hazard.

“We in the service industry have been taking precautions for years… We wash and sanitize everything anyway...

"People are piling into (retailers)," Arellano said. "So right now, I don't really see the difference. And we're human… I know a lot of things are ran by fear. I don't have that fear."

Arellano is the latest restaurateur to reopen her doors to dine-in service against statewide public health orders. A Centennial business, Waters Edge Winery and Bistro, reopened for dine-in service May 1. The Tri-County Health Department ordered Waters Edge to close before the restaurant agreed to abide by the order and resume curbside and carry-out service.

Those patronizing the restaurant May 10, for the most part, did not feel concerned with wearing a mask or social distancing. Many came out to support Arellano specifically, believing she is taking a stand for what they believe is right.

“(My husband) had asked what I wanted to do for Mother's Day. Since everything is closed down, I said `Well, I really don't know,'” said Hannah Nunn. “Then when (Arellano) posted she was opening for dine-in, I said `That's what I want to do.' We're ready to get back to normal and not being forced to stay home. And take-out does not taste as good.”

Linda Schattilly visited C&C May 10 because she felt she needed to support a business defiantly opening.

“I'm not afraid to be out. I'm not going to wear a mask. I'm healthy. I'm in good shape, and I don't think it's as serious as they say,” Schattilly said. “The communities are being devastated. People are losing everything... They should have never shut anybody down. They should've told all the old ones (people) and all the ones that don't have the right immune systems to stay home and let people do their jobs. People are being devastated.”

The crowds at the cafe drew the attention of Gov. Jared Polis' office on May 10.

“These restaurants are not only breaking the law, they are endangering the lives of their staff, customers and community," a statement from a spokesperson for the governor said.


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