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Calhan restaurant remains open despite cease-and-desist order from health department

Karen's Kafe remains open for dine-in service

CALHAN, Colo. (KRDO) -- A restaurant in rural El Paso County remains open five days after public health officials notified the owners they were violating state law amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Karen's Kafe and Stephanie's Bar & Grill told 13 Investigates they were still open on Monday morning for dine-in service.

El Paso County Public Health alerted KRDO on Friday afternoon that the county was "moving forward" with issuing a cease and desist order against the restaurant, which appears to be the strictest enforcement approach health officials have taken in the county.

Western Omelette 3, which is also in Calhan, is closed on Monday and Tuesday, which is normal according to a Facebook post. The owners of Western Omelette 3 also opened their dining room last week.

KRDO spoke with the owners of both restaurants on Friday afternoon, both indicated they had not received any information from the health officials about their defiance of the state order since Wednesday.

Karen Starr, owner of Karen's Kafe, said she would go to jail before closing down her dining room. She told KRDO her employees could run her business if she was in jail.

Starr says opening up is less about money and more about protecting everyone's constitutional rights and freedom.

KRDO reached out to El Paso County Public Health to find out what the next step in enforcement is. A spokesperson said they are working on our request. The agency has yet to say what it intends to do if the restaurants continue to ignore the current state law and remain open.

Chelsea Brentzel

Chelsea is an investigative reporter for KRDO NewsChannel 13. Learn more about Chelsea here.



  1. How dare they defy the order of Trump and Polis. They are forcing people to leave the safety and sanctuary of their homes all for food! I bet Reality Check will flip when he sees this.

    1. You still don’t understand, do you? Darwinism will take care of them.

      1. How? You don’t understand do you? Forcing people to stay home is helping how? Pushing certain people to depression and anxiety is a great idea. I know plenty of people that are dying to go back to work. Maybe if you had any friends you would understand this! And why did you bring up Darwinism? You understand that according to that belief that a certain race is less evolved. So please tell me why are you pushing Racist ideas?. Yes, if you believe in Darwinism you are supporting a racist theory. I already know many of you liberals are racist! I used to work with one. And you fit the same bill.

        1. I am confused. So you AREN’T a liberal? I really am asking because your name vs what you say is contradictory (and I am not talking about the sarcasm in regards to Reality Check)

        2. Darwinism is not racist. It’s a matter of natural survival of the smartest, where you and many others just don’t qualify.

      2. Exactly. Polis doesn’t care much about the Redneck Right. Let them have at it out in the middle of nowhere.

    2. No One Is forcing people to leave the safety and sanctuary of your home all for food. YOU make that choice if you believe they are correct in standing on our rights.

  2. So it is less about money and more about constitutional rights? I find that hard to believe. They are getting rewarded for not doing their part to get this inder control enough for the rest of us to return to some sense of normalcy. The reward is free publicity and self righteousness. They would at least wear a mask if they had any concern whatsoever about the spread of the virus. Their true statement is more about politics than anything else.

  3. She won’t be so smug when someone dies because of her. Their food is crap.

    1. Yes. I wonder about the liability and responsibility of the owner. Grab those almighty dollars 🙄

    2. The food not to Your liking doesn’t make it “crap’, Only Your opinion. It’s not great, but it’s OK for what it is, Diner Food. Have considered going back after being last week, though due to my issues, my choices are fewer than those of husband who can eat almost anything on the menu. He said that the biscuits and gravy were only surpassed by those he used to get from Kressa’s before that place closed. If they made a Roue of the flour, is about the only way to make the gravy better. As they a US Citizens, not living in a Police Country as is China, they’ve the Right to serve their Public Family and all other scaredy babies can stay away At home and quit BMW about how braver souls will fare!

      1. No. Their food is crap, even for Diner food. Their Biscuits and Gravy are the same, white gravy B and G’s you get everywhere…made from the bought-in-bulk mix purchased at Costco. Your husband needs to get out more.

    3. It’s a very small community with little or no cases. I’m sick of these small communities being rooted in with large metro areas and required to follow sane Draconian restrictions. Leave Calhan alone!

  4. “Starr says opening up is less about money and more about protecting everyone’s constitutional rights and freedom.” Hogwash.

  5. The need to pull the license, the health dept needs to shut them down and their insurance needs to drop them.

    1. Thank you Gestapo! Greedy business owners who want to provide a service and make an income… how Unamerican! Geez.

    1. I just love how after near 4 years Obama still lives rent free in Repubs heads. One powerful guy!

          1. American Thinker! Are you serious? Mad Magazine is more reliable! Hilarious!

          2. “in particularly by illegally unmasking and disseminating Flynn’s name to the press and the world, setting him up in the first place for persecution and prosecution. What they did is a felony that must be punished. And they did it with Obama’s knowledge and consent.”

            Please explain exactly what that means. What does it mean to “unmask Flynn’s name to the press” and how is that criminal?

      1. hmm. Kind of like how George W. Lived in Obama’s head 4 years in when he blamed Bush for his lackluster economy during his reelection in 2012….

  6. Does El Paso county still have the most cases and deaths in the state?

    1. Would it matter if it did? El Paso County IS the most populated county in the State, so it would make sense for it to have the most.

  7. Love my freedoms. So happy I’m able to wake up and have great debates with Reality Check. Hoping this turns into a long friendship.

  8. Denver cases should not dictate state wide regulations. Do I need to say more…. Ok I will.
    People are not forced or do they have an essential need to patron this business. So why not? If being an American adult, you accept the risk then….. Why not?
    I would be happy to get a great meal and I am not at risk. Why should my unalienable rights be infringed upon?

    1. You really don’t get it do you? You do not have the right to infringe on others. You yourself posted stats that show that the virus can get to those who stay at home. Why do you keep asking stupid questions?

      1. Better question; why do you keep posting stupid comments? Don’t want to catch a cold or anything else? Stay home.

        And since you’re so slow, I’ll repeat it: STAY.HOME.

        1. Already had the cold, the flu, and COVID. Why would I stay home? You deplorables are dumber than rocks. LOL

      2. How would I be infringing on others rights? You don’t have to go to the cafe.
        The point of the stats is to show that no matter what you do you still can catch it. Because of limited testing they even say that it could be up to +60% of the population has already had it. When the testing of the antibodies comes out I think many will be shocked. Many people even like you who hide and live in a mask and gloves. Then you will have the harsh realization that your precautions were for nothing and you could of been living life as normal. You could of been going to work and prevented you from losing your house or car you couldn’t make payments on because you were hiding in fear. Hmmm

        1. When you defy a public health order you are infringing on the rights of others. This is very, very, simple.
          What if’s don’t count.

  9. Governor Fruitloops and the mask wearing snowflakes are ruining this country. We need to get on with life and reopen this country as soon as we can.

    1. Why do you keep calling him Fruitlopps? Are you lacking an IQ? Are you ignorant in real life as you appear to be on the net? Did your father leave your family for another man? Or are you just a plain bigot?

    1. The Guardian is dealing with his own sexuality issues, as he bashes and name calls anyone who is Gay. His latent sexuality/gender issues are evident in is comments. Come out of the closet Guardian. You can wear your MAGA hat! (Morons Are Governing America)

  10. This is an open and shut case. They are now deifying a court order, so yank their “Food Service License, and their Health and Safety License”. Without those, they CAN NOT serve food, and the restaurant is effectively closed for good.
    Why, knowing places are going to be allowed to open on a limited basis, would you risk not being allowed to ever open again?

  11. The most important quote in the article is “violating a law”. No they are not. The Governor cannot make a law. Only the legislature and by vote. That is called the separation of powers and checks and balances. It was done explicitly and for good reason.

    1. Stop it. You are quoting facts. The leftist on this site don’t except facts because it goes against the agenda that they read and then quote from CNN.

  12. Interesting how the tables have turned now the left is actually concerned about life sanctity and the right is concerned about my body my choice

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