Ink! Coffee shop reopens Denver location amid gentrification controversy

The Associated Press
The Ink! coffee shop is shown after graffiti was erased from the walls of the building in the River North Art district Monday in Denver. The shop, which is part of a Colorado chain, has been in the eye of a storm of outrage from neighbors after putting up a sidewalk sign that said the owners were "happily gentrifying" the area, a transformation that has forced many of the former residents and businesses to move out and make way for salons, pilates studios and brew pubs.
AP Photo/David Zalubowski

DENVER — A Denver coffee shop has reopened after being targeted by protesters for displaying an advertising slogan that was perceived as making light of gentrification.

Ink! Coffee opened Tuesday as a handful of people chanted and held signs. Police officers kept watch.

The shop in a historically diverse neighborhood near downtown Denver displayed a sidewalk sign last week saying, “Happily Gentrifying the Neighborhood Since 2014.”

Outrage over the message quickly spread on social media, fueled by anger over a city being dramatically transformed by an influx of newcomers. The shop also was vandalized.

It closed for Thanksgiving weekend and didn’t open Monday as originally planned.

The founder of the Colorado chain has apologized for the sign and promised to educate himself about gentrification and find ways to express his contrition.