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Colorado Restaurant Defies Safer-at-Home Order and Hosts Hundreds for Mother’s Day Brunch

Plus, rude customers make social distancing harder, and other news to start the day

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Table with brunch spread of dishes.
Hundreds of customers reportedly went out for a Mother’s Day meal, despite the governor’s stay-at-home order.
Photo: Ksenija Toyechkina/Shutterstock

The illegal reopening of a Colorado restaurant drew hundreds of customers on Mother’s Day

The illegal reopening of a Colorado restaurant on May 10 has become a flashpoint in the politicized fight between those who want the U.S. to lift restrictions and return to “normalcy” despite the risk of COVID-19 transmission, and those who advocate for stay-at-home orders to continue even if it means economic and personal repercussions.

C&C Coffee and Kitchen, a breakfast cafe in Castle Rock, welcomed hundreds of sit-down customers on Mother’s Day, in defiance of the state’s order to suspend dine-in service until at least May 31. Footage filmed by Colorado Community Media reporter Nick Puckett shows a restaurant with a line out the door, a visibly armed bouncer at the entrance, and inside, customers standing and sitting very close to each other without any semblance of social distancing. Only one person could be seen wearing a mask inside the building, Puckett reported for Colorado Community Media.

“I expected it to be busy. I never expected this,” C&C owner April Arellano told Puckett. “I’m so happy so many people came out to support the Constitution and stand up for what is right. We did our time. We did our two weeks. We did more than two weeks … and we were failing. We had to do something.” In announcing the reopening over the weekend, the restaurant tweeted, “We are standing for America, small businesses, the Constitution and against the overreach of our governor in Colorado!” and had tagged President Donald Trump.

Local and state officials condemned the move. “We are disappointed that Cookies and Crème has decided to ignore the Governor’s Safer at Home order and open up today with no attention to social distancing,” the Tri-County Health Department told CBS Denver in a statement yesterday. The Denver Post reported that violating the state public health order is a misdemeanor that is punishable by a fine of $1,000 or up to a year in jail.

And in other news…

  • More in reopening tales: an ice cream shop in Mashpee, Massachusetts, was so overwhelmed with rude customers who didn’t want to follow the business’s new protocol — to place orders an hour in advance — that an employee quit and the ice cream parlor closed its doors the day after reopening. [Insider]
  • Inside the closing and reopening of meat processing plants, as workers continue to contract COVID-19 while President Trump orders plants to stay open to feed the country’s appetite for meat. [NYT]
  • Some industry experts say that pandemic-related meat shortages have caused many supermarkets to upgrade their ground beef with premium cuts that are typically bought up by restaurants. [NY Post]
  • The pandemic is straining the U.S.’s food safety net, with foodborne illness investigations and recalls dropping to their lowest numbers in years. [USA Today]
  • With much of America sheltering at home, big-name food products — Hershey’s chocolate, for example — are faring better than the healthier newcomers that sought to disrupt them, as consumers reach for comfort food that’s more widely available. [WSJ]
  • Farm-to-door community-supported agriculture (commonly known as CSAs) are booming. [NPR]
  • The maker of the original paper coffee filter has pivoted to producing face masks. [NYT]

All AM Intel Coverage [E]