IDAHO SPRINGS, Colo. — Beau Jo’s restaurant has been a tourist attraction in Idaho Springs for 47 years.
“We celebrated our birthday in December and we stayed here. So we had to have dinner at Beau Jo’s,” said patron Sara Nugent.
Many enjoy stopping by the restaurant located right off I-70 after a hike.
“I like to hit it on the way home from the mountains,” Michael Wilmes told Denver7.
But Wednesday night, for his family and many others, they'll walk away hungry and disappointed.
“It’s kind of a bummer. We just went on a hike and wanted some pizzas. I don’t know what we are going to do now. We were looking forward to Beau Jo’s," said Wilmes.
Beau Jo's management decided to temporarily close on Monday.
“We had an employee who wasn’t feeling well,” said Beau Jo’s representative, Teresa Falco.
That employee left work last Wednesday and immediately got a COVID-19 test. The test came back positive Friday morning.
Management requested it's 70 employees get tested, 60 of them agreed.
“After having employees tested on Monday, we did some long talks amongst our group and just decided the right thing to do would be to close the restaurant and wait for the results,” Falco said of the decision.
Falco tells Denver7 there was no pressure from the Clear Creek County Health Department to close. In fact, Falco says, the health department suggested they could stay open. Clear Creek County Health Department could not be reached for comment.
“We just felt like we’ve been in that community for 47 years and we just wanna do we can to keep — not only our employees — but the community and our patrons as safe as possible,” Falco said.
Beau Jo’s employees should get their test results in the coming days. If those employees all test negative, Beau Jo’s could open by the end of the week. If there are positive cases, management will go off the guidance of the county health department.