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Denver coffee shop protested over gentrification “joke”

November 27, 2017

DENVER (AP) — A Denver coffee shop targeted by protesters after a message about gentrification struck a nerve remains closed despite plans to reopen after the holiday weekend.

Last week, Ink! Coffee displayed a sidewalk sign that said “Happily Gentrifying the Neighborhood Since 2014” outside a store in a historically diverse neighborhood. Outrage over the message, fueled by anger over a city being dramatically transformed by an influx of newcomers, quickly spread on social media. The shop was vandalized and about 200 people protested there Saturday.

The Colorado chain has apologized. It initially said the sign was a bad joke but later founder Keith Herbert explained it was part of an advertising campaign. He says he’s embarrassed to say that he didn’t “fully appreciate the very real and troubling issue of gentrification.”

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