National News

Denver coffee shop remains closed following gentrification controversy

Posted November 27, 2017 3:13 p.m. EST

— A coffee shop that sparked protests with its advertisement apparently celebrating gentrification kept its doors closed to customers on Monday.

Several hundred people gathered outside ink! Coffee at 29th and Larimer on Saturday to protest a sandwich board sign that read, "Happily gentrifying the neighborhood since 2014." The sign had been posted outside the Five Points coffee shop.

The store was closed for the holiday weekend but was scheduled to open at 6 a.m. Monday, according to hours posted in the shop's windows.

The shop instead remained closed and a crew worked to remove graffiti that had been sprayed on the building in the days following the controversy.

The company and the advertising agency that created the sign have since apologized, with Cultivator Advertising & Design, Inc., saying it was "callous, naïve and uninformed."

Ink! founder Keith Herbert posted on Facebook that he originally interpreted the sign as "taking pride in being part of a dynamic, evolving community that is inclusive of all races, ethnicities, religions and gender identities" but now realizes that "we had a blind spot to other legitimate interpretations."

Denver7 has reached out to ink! about the coffee shop's closure but has yet to hear back.