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Restaurant Owners Sue State of Colorado for “Economic Catastrophe” Caused by Governor’s Political Agenda During COVID-19

CASTLE ROCK, CO – A couple who owns a restaurant in Colorado is now suing their Governor after he ordered the health department to revoke their business license.  Jesse and April Arellano claim Colorado Governor Jared Polis singled out their business for the sole point to make an example and promote a political agenda.

C & C Breakfast & Korean Kitchen is a dine-in restaurant and coffee shop with two locations–one in Colorado Springs and one in Castle Rock. The owners of the restaurant, Jesse and April Arellano, not only invested a substantial amount of their own money while taking out significant loans in order to grow the business since 2013. They also invested their time and talent, restructured their family time, and adapted their livelihoods in order to have the opportunity to make the business a success.

Their story is not unlike those of millions since our nation’s founding who attempted to earn a living, provide for their families, and positively contribute to society through their endeavors by operating a small business. The story of the Are llanos and C & C Breakfast & Korean Kitchen is not necessarily unique, but it is now crucially important.

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On May 10, 2020, C & C Breakfast & Korean Kitchen (C&C) opened its doors at the Castle Rock location for dine-in service, which attracted hundreds of members of the community to the restaurant to enjoy a meal with their families and engage in social and political discourse.

Normally, this would not be considered an unusual or shocking activity. The difference is that, since March 17, 2020, their restaurant ceased all on-premises dining in an effort to comply with state executive orders that sought to forcibly close all dine-in service restaurants that were deemed, arbitrarily and irrationally by government, to be “non-critical.” Despite making a good faith effort to comply with these executive agency orders, the result was an economic catastrophe for the Arellanos and their small business.

In an effort to save themselves, their employees, and their once profitable business from financial ruin, the restaurant opened for dine-in service on Mother’s Day – May 10, 2020. 6. Their action of simply opening their restaurant to customers as so many other businesses were allowed to do, and which did attract many community members and political supporters, received a substantial amount of mainstream and social media attention. In response to this “reopening,” Governor Polis held a press conference the following day and castigated the Arellanos and their customers for their ideology and unscientific views. The governor indicated such media attention given to disobedient citizens caused “fear” among the public and as a result, he ordered the Health Department to suspend the C&C License to Operate a Retail Food Establishment.

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Both the business license suspension order and the Tri-County Health Department order closing the premises to all businesses were issued on May 11, 2020, the same day as the Governor’s press conference. The restaurant has been closed since May 11, 2020. In a subsequent press conference, on May 20, 2020, Governor Polis expressed additional disdain for some of his constituents saying there “are always Coloradans who are going to be ignorant and selfish” in response to Coloradans swimming in Boulder Creek on a warm, sunny day.

“The coordinated, heavy-handed actions of the Governor of the State of Colorado, and the Director of CDPHE included designating the patrons of C&C as imminent health hazards,” the Arellanos said.  “This action was done with the knowledge or foreseeable consequence that it would deprive [us] of our livelihood and ability to operate their business after we simply allowed customers onto the premises to serve food and beverages.”

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“The matter before this Honorable Court is more than just a case of executive authority overreach and constitutional violations. It implicates the core principles of our nation’s founding and the rule of law,” the lawsuit states. “Since the first reported case of coronavirus (COVID-19) in the United States in January 2020, and after it began to receive significant national and local media attention, various governmental entities across the nation have been implementing various sweeping and economically devastating schemes in response to fluctuating, often inaccurate projections of COVID-19 related mass illness and death. Colorado’s Governor, Jared Polis, initially shut down the state and ordered people to stay home and now, nearly 10 weeks later, continues arbitrarily categorizing essential and non-essential businesses to the extreme detriment of Plaintiffs.”

 

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