Maskless customers crowd into Colorado coffee shop, defying social distancing guidelines

Footage captured at a coffee shop in Colorado shows what could be an anxiety-inducing scene to many amid the COVID-19 pandemic: a bustling store packed with children and adults who do not seem to be abiding by necessary social distancing measures.

The video was captured on Mother’s Day at C&C Coffee and Kitchen, a restaurant located in Castle Rock, nearly 30 miles south of Denver. The video, captured by Nick Puttett, shows dozens of people standing, sitting and moving throughout the restaurant. Few, if any, appear to be wearing masks or facial coverings, or are abiding by social distancing protocols.

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On social media, Puckett indicated that the store’s owner said the crowd was almost double what they usually serve on Mother’s Day. The video provoked a strong reaction among Twitter users, with most appearing to criticize the store and its customers, and some others supporting the business and its patrons.

The COVID-19 restrictions for restaurants and its customers are dished out by their respective local and state governments. 

Nevada now allows restaurants to offer in-house service under limited capacity, and Georgia diners are able to dine-in at physical locations, so long as those food purveyors abide by social distancing guidelines. In states like California and New York, dine-in service is still not allowed under state and local laws, although take-out, curbside and delivery options are still possible.

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As for Colorado, retail and personal service businesses were granted the ability to reopen on May if they practiced necessary COVID-19 preventative practices. And even though a restaurant could face later reprimand from public health agencies for defying such practices, it’s difficult for law enforcement and other authorities to police or arrest individuals who are crowding at a local restaurant to celebrate Mother’s Day. 

Some restaurateurs and in Denver believe reopening in May is too risky a move, even when staying closed is hurting their bottom line. 

As of May 11, Puttett’s video had been viewed over 4 million times on Twitter. That popularity could be attributed to the images of dozens of people standing nearly shoulder-to-shoulder with no facial coverings at a crowded restaurant at a time when the general public has been constantly reminded to stop the spread of COVID-19 by practicing social distancing and other preventative measures.