El Paso County Health Department to issue cease and desist order after Calhan restaurant defies state order and opens dining room
A restaurant in El Paso County is defying state orders. Karen's Kafe and Stephanie's Bar and Grill in Calhan is now open for in-person dining, a clear violation of state rules under the "Safer At Home" order.
El Paso County Public Health has asked them to stop. However, the owner believes her constitutional rights are being violated. Karen Starr believes the First Amendment of the U.S. Bill of Rights, which states in part, "... the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances."
Starr says she isn't doing it for the money. She says her customers are like family to her, and she believes they have the right to eat at her restaurant.
"It's not that we're going against the governor," Starr told 11 News on Wednesday. "We're going against our constitutional right to assemble."
Starr argues her restaurant is safe. Stating everything is clean, food is served on paper plates, and refills are given in new paper cups. Tables are at least 6 feet apart.
Manager and server Cheyenne Reed isn't concerned at all.
"I am a strong believer in God," Reed explained. "And like I said, if it's my time, then it's my time, and if I get sick, I get sick."
El Paso County Public Health told 11 News they alerted Starr she is violating the order. Starr plans to stay open. 11 News Reporter Robbie Reynold asked if it was worth getting fined for.
"Absolutely," Starr responded. "If I went to jail, it'd be worth it."
El Paso County Public Health has confirmed with 11 News that they moved forward with a cease and desist order against Karen's Kafe and Stephanie's Bar and Grill on Thursday.