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Local restaurants gear up for switch back to level orange


COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- El Paso County has officially made the switch back to level orange COVID-19 restrictions, which means a return to work for many across Colorado Springs.

Governor Jared Polis announced last week that he's asking the state to move all counties in level red to level orange on the Covid-19 dial.  Under level red on the state’s Covid-19 dial framework, no indoor dining was allowed, gyms were reduced to a 10 percent capacity and most other indoor activities were prohibited or limited. However, moving back to level orange means restaurants and indoor events can operate at 25% capacity or serve up to 50 people.

Angel Borders, General Manager of Western Omelette, said, “25% capacity is still kind of low, but we are only bringing back exactly a quarter of our staff so that we can hopefully make numbers go back up.”

Borders said they tried staying open with outdoor seating and to-go orders but, it just wasn’t working financially and the restaurant completely shut down mid-December.

Borders said, “We shut down, we were only doing to-gos and we were doing $300 a day. On a weekday it’s like $3,000 a day, weekends $6,000 and we are doing 300? It was pretty horrible.”

And the timing of being able to reopen couldn’t have come at a better time. Borders said if the lockdown continued for any longer, they would’ve had to close their doors for good.

“We would not have been able to reopen. We could’ve made it maybe one more week but we are very blessed that we got to reopen this week,” said Borders.

But Borders said he wants to assure people that they are doing everything they can to make sure the dine-in experience is as safe and clean as possible.

"We’ve got extra cleaners in here we are having a sanitizing person come in. We will be doing socially distant tables as well as only 25% capacity. We’ve got new air filters and we’ve been working a lot while closed down to keep it safe and we are so excited to serve everybody again,” he said.

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Kolby Crossley

Kolby is a reporter for Good Morning Colorado. Learn more about Kolby here.



  1. BUT if you erect a tent outside your restaurant its ok to pack 20 people in it as it is classified as “outdoor dining”. What a joke.

  2. We are in Orange…LETS PACK EM IN AND GO BACK TO RED YAY!!!!! I swear the people that live here need to trade whatever is in their heads for a real brain!!!!! If we go back to red I WILL NOT WEAR A MASK!!!!!!!

    1. I wouldn’t exactly call 25% capacity “PACKING EM IN.” That said, I don’t see going above 50% happening until late next summer, if then. Gonna be a long, tough haul for folks.

  3. I agree, setting up a tent outside, then a heater blowing covid infected air across everyone’s table is stupid. Perhaps this model works ok in SOCal, but we have something called winter here.

    Lets be honest the food at most restaurants is subpar to what I can cook at home. I goto restaurants for the ambiance, entertainment, and company of others. Freezing in a tent bundled in my coat hat and gloved while I eat through my mask is not my idea of a good time.

    Many of these restaurants are local treasures, not backed by some corporate conglomerate sucking at the teet of stimulus money. They are mom and pop businesses hanging on by a bare thread hoping to survive. If we continue this much longer they will all close for good and we will be left with nothing other then the national chains imported here from the left coast.

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