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Clay Caldwell says “We just want to open and earn our own living,” according to The Washington Examiner.
Democratic Colorado Gov. Jared Polis is making more restrictions due to the coronavirus.
Caldwell has been asked by his employees not to back down from the restrictions and remain open.
“They’re the ones who actually came to me and said, ‘Listen, we don’t like what we’re hearing, that we’re going to close.’”
“I said, ‘I will fight this. I’ll stand up.’”
“It’s not about politics. It’s about the right to survive.”
After re-opening after Thanksgiving customers floored his restaurant despite restrictions.
“We had a line out the door. My first guests that came in drove three hours one-way to stand with us. It’s been like that every minute.”
The county health department showed up.
“We saw them standing … taking photos and then leaving. A lot of intimidation is being sent to us,” Caldwell said.
“I’m going to close my dining room and give the governor a win.”
“Our industry is highly regulated when it comes to sanitation, plus we’ve added so many more levels of sanitation. … We have one person on every shift that does nothing but clean.”
“If he doesn’t [agree with the application], we can open back up and continue on.”
“I wanted to do something that represented my heritage and my experience growing up.”
“In the South, if you come into neighbor’s back door, there’s a piece of pie and a cup of coffee there on the kitchen table, and you share life together.”
“It’s the food of the South.”
From The Washington Examiner:
Caldwell was raised in Arkansas and wanted to recreate the Southern hospitality that he experienced growing up.
Caldwell graduated with honors from the Culinary Institute of America in New York, and shortly after his stint at the Ritz Carlton, opened Betta Gumbo, which serves Southern meals such as Cajun, soul food, and fare from low country.