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Protest Erupts at Downtown Dozens Restaurant

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Casual daytime eatery receives complaints and public outcry following insults

A disgruntled crowd formed Tuesday, May 30 on the lawn at 13th and Cherokee streets, where Dozens, an unfussy American café, has sat for more than 25 years. From 11:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., a formal boycott gathered – first inside the establishment and then moving to the sunshine-filled day – where a group voiced concerns about bigoted behavior that had taken place inside the eatery the day prior.

“Since the election of Trump, people of color have become increasingly targets of disrespect in public places,” a male protester read off his smart phone in the center of the restaurant to the owner and tables of seated patrons.

The demonstration followed the owner of Dozens, John England allegedly insulting a customer, Lisa Calderon – a community activist and co-chair of the Colorado Latino Forum – after she complained about poor service May 29. Protesters explained that England said he was “sick of lawyers bringing in non-paying clients,” and banned Calderon from the establishment. The day after, the conflict was taken to Facebook, where, Calderon said England threatened her, warning: “Be careful.”

“Our message to him and other entitled and intolerant individuals is this – No more disrespect,” one boycotter said inside the restaurant. “Not one more day, not one more minute. Intimidation, intolerance and injustice has no place in this city.”

A Facebook Live video show England’s wife apologizing to the small crowd outside Dozens, as Calderon and others demanded the owner’s apology.

Since the incident, a series of complaints have surfaced.

Dozens Aurora, which bears the same name but is not formally affiliated and has different ownership, shared this message on its Facebook page:

Hello Everyone, the staff of Dozens in Aurora has been made aware of the situation in Denver, and we feel terrible about what happened. We would like to make clear that the Dozens in Denver and Aurora have been separated for many years now. We are not a franchise, nor associated with the Dozens downtown by anything other than the name. We have a different owner named Chris Miley. Unfortunately we have been receiving backlash as per the occurred event. Backlash such as phone calls asking for John, bad reviews, and much loss of customers. We hope this clears up any questions about us. If you have more questions please feel free to contact us. Thank you for hearing us out.