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Castle Rock Restaurant Owner Continues Defiant Stance, Says Colorado Coronavirus Restrictions 'Seem Backward'

CASTLE ROCK, Colo. (CBS4) - Despite an order to close, Monday was another busy day for C&C Breakfast and Korean Kitchen in Castle Rock.

"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," said restaurant owner Jesse Arellano.

Jesse Arellano
Jesse Arellano (credit: CBS)

He knew, after he served a packed house on Mother's Day, he would be taking a risk, but he believes Douglas County is safe.

"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."

C&C IN CASTLE ROCK VO .transfer_frame_191
(credit: Nick Puckett/Colorado Community Media)

Cellphone video Sunday shows not only people close together, but a majority of those not wearing masks.

It was a similar scene Monday afternoon, even after the order to close was delivered via courier, but Arellano carried on with business as usual.

"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."

His opinion of the virus?

"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."

He admitted he was unsure of the exact numbers, but when asked if he thought they were low as a result of social distancing?

"Maybe a tiny bit," he said.

Jesse Arellano

Arellano said Monday he had not read the order from Tri-County Health, but planned to go over it with his attorney to see if it is constitutional.

The financial burden he says is a major aspect of his decision, but he also lost his father last month from issues unrelated to COVID-19. Simply put, he couldn't take any more.

"He died and we couldn't even have a funeral. You know, who are these officials that tell you can't even mourn your loved ones? How do we live like this? You know my family all would've took the risk to get sick just to be able to mourn my dad," he said.

He told CBS4 he was unsure about opening again Tuesday. While he believes he may lose his business, he plans to hang on as long as he can.

"Everyone's going to get sick, some people will die. It's just life. You know it's horrible, but it's just life."

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