That was fast.
Douglas County moved to Level Red on the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment dial for COVID-19 conditions on November 20, along with fourteen other counties; with that status come new public-health guidelines, including a temporary end to indoor dining. There's also no option to opt out of the CDPHE's orders, as the Douglas County Commissioners noted in a letter to the head of the CDPHE.
But a few restaurants took it upon themselves to do so independently. And on November 23, the Tri-County Health Department, which covers Douglas County, ordered five restaurants closed for failing to observe the guidelines, particularly the prohibition on indoor dining. The five that were immediately shuttered:
Office Bar and Kitchen, 230 3rd Street, Castle Rock
Library Co. Bar & Kitchen, 3911 Ambrosia Street, Castle Rock
Whisky Lodge, 3911 Ambrosia Street, Castle Rock
Gym Co Tavern, 18951 Mainstreet, Parker
Tailgate Tavern and Grill, 19552 Mainstreet, Parker
"The Library Co. was started with the vision of offering great food & amazing drinks in a relaxed and warm atmosphere," notes the Library website. "Keep it simple."
But this situation was far from simple, as customers and owners alike complained about the closures on Facebook and at a Castle Rock council meeting on November 24. The Douglas County Commissioners have also had their issues with Tri-County, threatening to pull out of the department's oversight altogether this past summer.
Late on November 25, Tri-County reversed its order, allowing the five restaurants to reopen.
“Tri-County Health Department has reached an agreement with all five restaurants that we closed on Monday and therefore have rescinded the closure orders for those establishments,” said Brian Hlavacek, director of Environmental Health, in a statement. “Our goal is to achieve compliance in order to prevent the spread of COVID, and we worked closely with the owners of each restaurant with a shared goal of helping them to reopen safely."
Although all five restaurants are closed on Thanksgiving, they should be back in business on November 27 — offering to-go, delivery and outdoor dining only.
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