Colorado Restaurant Draws Large Mother's Day Crowd After Reopening in Defiance of Statewide Order Amid Pandemic

A restaurant in Castle Rock, Colorado drew a large crowd on Mother's Day after it reopened for dine-in service despite a statewide order only permitting restaurants to be open for delivery and pick-up amid the coronavirus pandemic.

On Sunday, locals shared videos and images to social media showing C&C Coffee and Kitchen packed with customers. Most of the customers inside the location were not wearing a mask or face covering and failed to adhere to the federal government's guidelines on social distancing.

According to a local reporter, April Arellano, the restaurant's owner, said the number of customers almost doubled a normal Mother's Day. As customers packed inside the restaurant, one video also showed a line of people outside, waiting to enter.

Happy Mother’s Day from C& C in Castle Rock, where the owner said this is almost double a normal Mother’s Day.

— Nick Puckett (@nick__puckett) May 10, 2020

In a Facebook live video, Arellano said, "I'm sure a lot of people are wondering what the turnout ended up being." The camera then panned around the location showing every table and chair filled and lines at the counter, as well as outside.

"So much for some of those people saying nobody would show up," Arellano added. "And our patio's full too. Thank you, thank you, thank you so much for this support guys. I gotta get back to work. Have a great day."

Arellano told Colorado Community Media that she expected the restaurant to be busy on Sunday but not as busy as it was. "I'm so happy so many people came out to support the Constitution and stand up for what is right," she said. "We did our time. We did our two weeks. We did more than two weeks...and we were failing. We had to do something."

The opening today was in direct violation of Colorado's statewide order for all restaurants to cease dine-in service until at least May 31. Arellano said she wasn't concerned by the fact that barely any customers wore masks or maintained social distancing while at her restaurant.

"We in the service industry have been taking precautions for years... We wash and sanitize everything anyway," she said. "People are piling into [retailers]. So right now, I don't really see the difference. And we're human... I know a lot of things are run by fear. I don't have that fear."

Newsweek reached out to the Castle Rock Police Department regarding the incident. This story will be updated with any response.

In a statement to the Denver Post on Sunday, a spokesperson for Colorado Governor Jared Polis condemned CC & Coffee and other restaurants that have broken the law by reopening. "These restaurants are not only breaking the law, they are endangering the lives of their staff, customers, and community," the spokesperson said.

As of May 10, more than 19,700 individuals had tested positive for coronavirus in Colorado, with 971 deaths caused by the new disease. Overall, the U.S. has a total of 1,365,200 COVID-19 cases, with 80,700 deaths and 240,800 recoveries.

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File photo: Close up of steaming cup of coffee or tea on vintage table - early morning breakfast on rustic background. Alina Rosanova/Getty