Despite Death Threats, Colorado Restaurant Owner Defies State Order To Close

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A restaurant owner in Colorado has had enough.

Despite an order to close and threats to burn the place down, Jesse Arellano decided to keep his restaurant, C&C Breakfast and Korean Kitchen in Castle Rock, open on Monday.

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“I had one person call me a Nazi and a white supremacist, and I said well I’m not even white so… I’m Spanish and Korean. We’ve had people say they want to burn the place down and hope we all die from coronavirus,” Arellano told CBS-4 in Denver.

The owner said his restaurant is big enough to allow for social distancing as mandated by the states Democratic governor.

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“Look around, look how much space we have here. We have a huge parking lot you know? We’ve got huge parks. We’ve got all this free air and what we’re going to do is carry bacteria in our masks? That doesn’t seem logical to me,” he said.

Over the weekend, Arellano reopened his restaurant, in defiance of a state order that demanded all restaurants close amid the coronavirus pandemic. The restaurant was packed with customers celebrating Mother’s Day, as Arellano condemned “the overreach of our governor in Colorado!!”

“We are standing for America, small businesses, the Constitution and against the overreach of our governor in Colorado!!” the restaurant said in a Twitter post directed to President Trump.

The owner said Monday, when his restaurant was again packed: “We need to start doing something about this before we all crash and burn. I know there’s a lot of restaurants here shutting their doors. We’re losing a lot of our very small, interesting cultural restaurants. We’re losing all those.”

“You know there’s lies. Dang lies… it’s statistics. The projection said 100,000 people are going to die in April that didn’t happen. The numbers you know, they keep going down and you know, we keep getting more restrictive it seems backwards to me,” Arellano said.

The governor’s office demanded the restaurant be closed. “These restaurants are not only breaking the law, they are endangering the lives of their staff, customers, and community,” deputy press secretary Shelby Wieman said in a statement.

“Under Safer at Home, restaurants, food courts, cafes, coffeehouses, and other similar places of public accommodation offering food or beverage for on-premises consumption are still closed. Delivery and drive-up service is available. Coloradans can contact their local public health department if they believe someone is violating Safer at Home.”

A spokeswoman for the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment told The Post that violating the state’s order is a misdemeanor that is punishable by a fine of $1,000 or up to a year in jail.

“Authorities also have said restaurants could have their licenses revoked for violating the order. Colorado residents are required to follow the statewide public health order that created guidelines for how businesses can reopen as Colorado enters the ‘safer-at-home’ phase of the state’s response to the novel coronavirus pandemic,” The Denver Post reported.

“Under that order, restaurants, cafes, bars and coffee shops cannot offer dine-in services until at least May 26, but can fill orders for delivery and takeout as long as they follow social-distancing protocols. Polis on Friday said he’d like to see Colorado’s restaurants reopen by the end of May, if not before Memorial Day.”


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