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The owners of a Colorado restaurant that went viral after reopening in defiance of state coronavirus mandates are suing Democratic Gov. Jared Polis, who they believe singled them out for political gain.
In an interview on “Fox & Friends First” with host Rob Schmitt, Castle Rock’s C&C Breakfast & Korean Kitchen co-owners April and Jesse Arellano and their attorney Randy Corporon spoke out against their seemingly indefinite shutdown, which they said violates their constitutional rights.
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“I feel like we were a little singled out. You know, we invested everything into this business. We’ve spent seven years building this business. And, there [are] a lot of other restaurants open in Colorado…” April stated. “So, I think we were made an example of just to kind of instill fear in other restaurants.”
C&C Breakfast & Korean Kitchen garnered national attention after a video taken inside the coffee shop on Mother’s Day revealed packed booths, tables of patrons without masks, and a line snaking out the door – despite a standing public health order from the state in effect through May 26.
The state’s Health Department and Polis then suspended the Arellanos’ café’s license under the Colorado Food Protection Act.
“You know, we don’t regret that decision,” Jesse added. “You know, it started off [as] just trying to bless a few mothers on Mother’s Day to be able to sit down and dine in. They’ve been cooped up in their houses for a while with the lockdown orders. And, after two months it just became…too long.”
He added that while the restaurant didn’t stop anyone from coming in with a mask, “our whole thing is that people need to have their own right to choose.”
On Monday, Polis announced restaurants in Colorado could begin opening for in-person dining starting Wednesday, though restaurants will have to limit indoor dining to either 50 percent of their maximum occupancy or 50 people, whichever is fewer.
The Arellanos argue that the “numerous and overlapping executive and public health orders” are based on overstated COVID-19 rates that leave their business “in a continual state of limbo and uncertainty.”
In addition, since Polis pulled their license on May 11, the lawsuit also states that the pair “have suffered devastating and possibly insurmountable financial hardship.”
“Well, the governor singled this particular restaurant out. He held an individual press conference in order to call them out for their lack of belief in science, basically their lack of ethics, and it’s an egregious overuse of his power,” Corporon accused.
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“The legislature in Colorado gave [the] governor emergency powers. We’re now 74 days into him continuing those emergency powers,” he pointed out.
“And, to call out this one individual restaurant – you know – they had no idea they were going to get swarmed like they were on Mother’s Day. They did and the governor was very offended by that,” Corporon concluded. “And he took his temporary emergency powers to single them out and shut them down.”