Restaurant opens during pandemic while many others close

Published: Jan. 30, 2021 at 4:41 PM MST
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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - COVID-19 numbers keep dropping across Colorado and many of you have reached out, wondering when that trend will translate into less restrictions.

El Paso County’s health department says our biggest hurdle right now is our 14-day incidence rate. It’s an indicator of how COVID-19 is spreading in our community. Right now, it’s right at 275 -- it has not been this low since late October.

At a time when so many local businesses struggling because of restrictions, one is opening on Saturday near Academy and Hancock. The owner of Felipe’s 109 knows he is opening in tough times but is hopeful he and his employees can make it work.

“Burgers for the mind, tacos for the heart, and chili for the soul.”

It’s that mind, heart, and soul that went into transforming Felipe’s 109 from a food truck into a restaurant.

“We’re just stepping out in faith and believe in that we will be able to make families and dreams of other people come true because it’s not about us,” said owner Felipe Velasquez.

The restaurant’s signature is taco burgers served with french fries and some good ole’ green chili, along with other Mexican and American eats.

Velasquez says they are going through a lot of emotions -- and uncertainty is one of them.

“I feel high. I feel low. I feel sad. I feel happy. I’ve had a lot of rollercoaster going on in the last week, you know?” he said.

Right now, restaurants in El Paso County are limited under what’s called “level orange.“ Customers can drive through or carry out, but they can only dine in at 25 percent capacity.

“I’ve eaten their food before. They had a food truck and it’s good food. They are a local couple, not a franchise, and I want to support that,” said customer Ray Graves.

If the county can move to “level yellow,” restaurants can open up to 50 percent capacity. The health department says we all need to wear masks and practice social distancing to get there.


Posted by Felipe's 109 on Friday, January 29, 2021

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