Those Facebook memes that show jokes printed on coffee shop sandwich boards are usually pretty funny. Unless the joke comes from Ink Coffee shop in Denver, and it pokes fun at white folks trying to take over the neighborhood.
“Happily gentrifying the neighborhood since 2014,” read one side of the sandwich board out front. The other side said, “Nothing says gentrification better than a fresh brewed cortado.”
Neighbors didn’t think it was funny, so apologies were issued.
“Hmmm. We clearly drank too much of our own product and lost sight of what makes our community great. We sincerely apologize for our street sign. Our (bad) joke was never meant to offend our vibrant and diverse community. We should know better. We hope you will forgive us.”
They did not.
About 200 folks turned out to protest the shop this weekend, after the building was already vandalized.
Protestors complained about the mayor not taking the issue of gentrification seriously. Some want the shop to close, or move, or donate the property to the community.
We understand neighbors are frustrated with the mayor, but mob rule is the wrong message to send local businesses. Especially over something that was clearly meant as a joke mocking gentrification, not their own neighborhood.
Rather than vandalizing their own neighborhood, we urge them to stand down and have a civil conversation with the coffee shop owners, perhaps over a fresh-brewed cup of cortado.