Berthoud Weekly Surveyor | Covering all the angles in the Garden Spot

Berthoud restaurant to open Saturday despite state restriction

May 23, 2020 | Business

By Amber McIver-Traywick

The Surveyor

A Berthoud restaurant owner will open this weekend for dine-in service despite the statewide order preventing owners from doing so. Grandpa’s Café, 903 Mountain Ave., owner Carrie Savage made the announcement on social media Friday afternoon which was followed by hundreds of comments both in favor and against the opening.

The decision to open came after Savage became aware of the drafted proposed state guidelines she felt were only further delaying and ultimately ending her ability to run a viable business. The draft guidelines for restaurants were released by the state to the public this week in order to receive feedback by May, 22. The guidelines continue to keep restaurants and bars closed for indoor and outdoor service unless they are able to adhere to strict guidelines. These draft considerations include limited capacity (the specific number has yet to be determined) 8 feet of spacing between tables, deep sanitization between patrons, requiring staff to wear face coverings and potentially requiring reservations. The guidelines continue to allow curbside pickup, delivery and to-go alcohol sales as has been the case since March 19 when Governor Jared Polis signed the executive order mandating the closures to help stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

“I was all for closing in March …I thought it was the right thing to do to not overrun hospitals…this is not about disrespecting the virus it’s about the effects of the closure being more devastating than the virus,” Savage said about reopening her quickly failing restaurant that normally employs around 20 individuals.

Savage explained that the layout of her restaurant already includes dividers and tables that are 6 feet apart. “I’m not doing this irresponsibly; I have an older clientele…I’m not doing this to be defiant, I’m doing this because the government doesn’t have the right to shut me down every time they can, there is no proof coronavirus lives in restaurants more than anywhere else that is already open.”

Savage said that even with delivery and carry out her restaurant is down 241% compared to the same time last year, “I figure I have until June 1, which is when I’ll have to close anyway.”

Savage is not the only restaurant owner who has said they will open in Colorado this holiday weekend. According to another post on social media, hundreds of restaurants across the state are also planning to open this weekend. The statement which was made on the “Living in Parker” page said, “…We have 421 restaurants in the front range that will open this weekend! They will be following guidelines, but they are not going to remain closed through Memorial Day. You wanted to see people stand together? Here it is.”

The original restriction for on-site dining came on March 19 when Governor Jared Polis announced restaurants and bars in Colorado would be restricted to drive-thru, carry-out and delivery services. The order was initially set to remain in effect for 30 days.

Under state statute the Larimer County Department of Public Health and Environment is the entity responsible for enforcing the state’s public health orders as well as its own. A phone call to the department for comment had not been returned at the time of this publication.

This story will be updated as more information becomes available.

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