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Closure orders rescinded for 5 DougCo restaurants that allowed indoor dining

All five restaurants were forced to close Monday after the health department said they violated a public health order by allowing indoor dining.

DOUGLAS COUNTY, Colo. — A closer order for five Douglas County restaurants was rescinded Wednesday after the Tri-County Health Department (TCHD) said it "reached an agreement" with those businesses. All five were forced to close Monday after the health department said they violated a public health order by allowing indoor dining 

"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," said Brian Hlavacek, director of environmental health for the department. 

Those businesses are:

  • The Office Bar and Kitchen, 230 3rd St., Castle Rock
  • The Library Co. Bar & Kitchen, 3911 Ambrosia St., Ste. 101, Castle Rock
  • The Whisky Lodge, 3911 Ambrosia St., Ste. 3, Castle Rock
  • The Gym Co Tavern, 18951 Mainstreet, Unit C, Parker
  • Tailgate Tavern and Grill, 19552 Mainstreet, Parker

In the closure order documents, TCHD said the restaurants violated the public health order by failing to comply with the requirement specified in “Level Red: Severe Risk” that all retail food establishments in Douglas County cease all indoor dining.

The restaurants were ordered to "close immediately and to remain closed" until TCHD determined they were in compliance with the public health order.

Douglas County is one of nearly two dozen counties in Colorado that was moved to stricter COVID-19 restrictions to slow exponential growth of the novel coronavirus.

RELATED: 22 counties move to 'severe risk' level on state's COVID-19 dial

In those counties, all restaurants have to temporarily close to indoor dining, but takeout is still an option, Gov. Jared Polis said last week. 

Outdoor seating is also an option, but is limited to single-family seating, not groups. Last call is at 8 p.m. 

>>Watch video above: Push back against Colorado's Level Red COVID restrictions

RELATED: Business owners push back against Colorado's Level Red COVID restrictions

The town of Castle Rock, which is in Douglas County, held a special meeting Tuesday night to vote on a resolution opposing the elevated COVID restrictions.

Castle Rock Mayor Jason Gray, however, said it is by no means a suggestion that businesses shouldn't follow the rules.

"I don't think defiance is the right thing to do. I don't condemn businesses for doing it, I don't condone businesses for doing it," he said.

Miguel Hernandez is the owner of The Office Bar & Kitchen. His restaurant was one of the five forced to close Tuesday – he spoke at Castle Rock's special meeting.

"It's unfair, very sad and depressing to be blamed and trolled, to be pointed at, and controlled to the extent of now being referred to us as a criminal," Hernandez said. "You cannot support us, because you will be supporting a criminal activity."