A Denver coffee shop was recently vandalized after local and national controversy arose from a promotional sign posted by the cafe’s owner in an attempt to make light of the growing gentrification of the neighborhood it is based in. Hundreds of local residents gathered outside of Ink Coffee to protest their dislike of the signage. Once images of the sign made its way through social media and local press, the owner quickly apologized to quell the outrage. Unfortunately the protests didn’t stop, and ultimately the business was vandalized shorty thereafter. The shop temporarily closed over the Thanksgiving holiday.
The neighborhood, Five Points, was once predominately Latino and Black. It is a few blocks north of the state capitol, and was once so full of jazz musicians that it was called the Harlem of the West.
Today, a portion of Five Points has been rebranded River North. It is now a fashionable destination and is experiencing the addition of new, young professionals who have had little to no prior connection to the neighborhood. The area has come to symbolize rapid growth and redevelopment in Denver, much as the New York City’s Williamsburg neighborhood became the face of transformation in Brooklyn.