Jesse Arellano, the owner of C&C Breakfast & Korean Kitchen in Castle Rock, Colo., told the “Todd Starnes Radio Show” Wednesday that he is going to continue to fight after the state closed down his restaurant for defying coronavirus orders.
Arellano’s business has become something of a war cry for Colorado residents who claim Gov. Jared Polis’ safer-at-home order is an attack on their freedom. Customers flocked the restaurant on Mother’s Day and donated $26,000 to a GoFundMe page after its closure. Customers have even taped cash to the store’s window as a show of support.
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Polis said Monday that the establishment “purposefully and flagrantly” defied orders from the state and put the health of residents at risk. Jill Hunsaker Ryan, the executive director of the state’s health department, told the Colorado Springs Gazette that “irresponsible behavior like this only serves to defeat” the progress the state made in controlling the spread of the disease. Health officials said they warned the restaurant not to open.
Arellano told Starnes that he knew the decision was coming, but vowed to continue to “fight and stand strong.”
“We know that, maybe they’ll be repercussions, but we’re not going to let big government tell small businesses how to run,” he said. He said that he believes the governor’s office will try to make an example out of his business. A lawyer representing the restaurant said he will file a lawsuit against the governor over the closure.
Arellano has said in earlier interviews that despite the support from the public, he has received some backlash. He told CBS Denver that one person called him a Nazi and a white supremacist.
He said he responded, “Well, I’m not even white so… I’m Spanish and Korean.” He said people have also threatened to burn the place down and said they hope he dies from the virus.
Arellano is married and the father of two young children. He borrowed money to open two restaurants in the state and said he cannot afford to keep them closed any longer.
“This issue has become bigger than us,” he said. “We need to open up so that little businesses can survive and have a fair shot like some of these big corporations.”