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Colorado suspends license of restaurant that reopened to packed crowds in defiance of lockdown

Gov. Jared Polis (D) said C&C Coffee and Kitchen's reopening caused an 'immediate health hazard'

Image source: Twitter video screenshot

Officials in Colorado have suspended the license of a Castle Rock eatery, after the restaurant reopened its dining area over the weekend in defiance of the state's coronavirus lockdown.

What are the details?

C&C Coffee and Kitchen allowed customers into its dining room for Mother's Day on Sunday despite the state's ongoing mandate requiring restaurants to limit their service to delivery and takeout. The restaurant gained national attention after images went viral showing the crowded establishment with people exhibiting little to no social distancing measures.

The restaurant's owner, April Arellano, had announced beforehand that she was reopening despite reportedly being turned in to health officials by a police officer. A passerby also reportedly complained to the local health department about C&C Coffee and Kitchen after seeing its business booming on Sunday.

Arellano explained on Facebook, "[We will] go out of business if I don't do something. [I]f I lose this business, at least I'm fighting."

The Denver Post reported Monday that the Tri-County Health Department ordered C&C Coffee and Kitchen to close, before state health officials stepped in and pulled the restaurant's business license indefinitely.

Gov. Jared Polis (D) announced that C&C Coffee and Kitchen's license would remain revoked for at least 30 days, saying the defiance of his order caused an "immediate health hazard."

The governor said, "I hope, I pray that nobody falls sick from businesses that chose to violate the law. But if the state didn't act and more businesses follow suit, it's a near guarantee that people would lose their lives and it would further delay the opening of legitimate businesses."

Polis provides update on state's COVID-19 response youtu.be

C&C Coffee and Kitchen remained open as of Monday afternoon and was "packed" with business despite the shutdown order, according to KUSA-TV.

Customer Mike Lindsay told the outlet, "I don't feel that the decisions of others or really the fear of others should infringe upon my rights. If you have fear of contracting the coronavirus or anything else then you can stay home."

He added, "I think that I should be able to do what I want. I will make the best decisions for myself and my family. That's not up to the government. That's not up to anybody else. I will do that and I support what they're doing here."

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