The governor of Colorado has suspended the license of a Castle Rock restaurant after Mother's Day crowds packed their dining room, no one was practicing social distancing, and only one person was wearing a mask, Yahoo News reports.
As is the case with millions of restaurants and other businesses across the country, C&C Coffee And Kitchen is limited to providing only takeout and delivery meals. However, on Sunday, May 10 -- Mother's Day -- the restaurant's owners opened up their dining room to customers. This move directly opposed state orders.
The restaurant even owned up to its defiance of the rules in a tweet.
"We are standing for America, small businesses, the Constitution and against the overreach of our governor in Colorado!" read the tweet, which tagged President Donald Trump's Twitter account.
The restaurant owners' seemingly proud disregard for the rules was also on display via a sign posted at the building's entrance.
"ATTENTION: Our freedom doesn't end where your fear begins," it read. "If you are afraid to be within 6 feet of another person, do not enter this business!"
Inside the building, it was clear nobody was following the state's rules. Diners packed into the facility and local reporter Nick Puckett observed that no one appeared to be practicing social distancing and only one person wore a mask.This week, Colorado Governor Jared Polis announced the restaurant's operating license has been suspended for at least 30 days, with the possibility of it being extended. Polis noted the restaurant can regain its license "once it's established that there is no longer a threat to public health."
Polis stated that -- though people may not agree with all laws -- it is their duty to obey them anyway.
The governor also implied the restaurant owners' open defiance of the law hurt its employees, who could lose their jobs "through no fault of their own," particularly if the restaurant loses a costly court battle if its owner dies.
Finally, he expressed his hope that no one in the restaurant that day caught, or spread, the coronavirus.
C&C Coffee and Kitchen owner April Arellano could not be reached for comment.
Even where restaurants have been allowed to legally reopen, the process hasn't been the smoothest. It seems customers aren't taking guidelines into account or are overwhelming the operation. For example, at a Pittsburgh-area Red Lobster, police had to be called to deal with a group of disgruntled patrons who were told their take-out orders couldn't be fulfilled.