Restaurant that hosted packed brunch on Mother's Day gets license suspended

A Colorado restaurant had its license indefinitely suspended after opening its dining room Sunday.
/ Source: NBC News

A Colorado restaurant had its license indefinitely suspended after opening its dining room on Mother’s Day to large crowds, defying statewide orders.

Video posted to social media shows large groups eating at C&C Breakfast and Korean Kitchen, with many not appearing to wear masks or any type of facial covering.

Every seat was filled in the restaurant in Castle Rock, which is 30 minutes south of Denver, according to Colorado Community Media, which took the video.

The Tri-County Health Department, whose purview includes Castle Rock, said in an order on Monday that C&C Breakfast and Korean Kitchen must remain closed until the agency can review its compliance with the state’s coronavirus orders, NBC Denver affiliate KUSA reported.

Restaurants and bars have been closed in the state since mid-March. Colorado is in the process of reopening under Gov. Jared Polis’ “safer at home” model, but restaurants remain restricted to takeout and delivery. To date, the state has seen almost 20,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus and more than 950 deaths.

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The health department said it had warned the restaurant on Friday not to open its dining room.

“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 M. Douglas Jr. of the health department said in a press release provided to KUSA.

Gov. Polis said in a news conference on Monday that he was “disappointed to see people and businesses actively breaking the law."

“We all believe in the rule of law and need to follow the laws and work through legitimate channels to change those laws,” Polis said. “We don't have the ability to violate laws."

The restaurant’s co-owner, Jesse Arellano, told KUSA that eateries are eager to get back to business.

“We had to fire a lot of people that live off the wages and everything else," Arellano said,"What do you say to those people … Restaurants are at a big disadvantage right now."

When asked about the closure order, Arellano said, “I know they’re trying to punish us. They’re going to try to make us an example, which is fine. We’re willing to accept that."