By Rick Sallinger

DENVER (CBS4)– Ink! Coffee shop in Denver’s Five Points neighborhood remained shut down Monday as more graffiti was splattered across the outside and protests continued at 28th and Larimer.

Crews erased the ink off Ink!. But removal of the graffiti did not erase the controversy. It started with a sign the company said jokingly referred to, “Happily gentrifying the neighborhood since 2014.”

ink coffee protest 5pkg frame 41 Five Points Ink! Coffee Shop Remains Closed

(credit: CBS)

That sparked protests over the holiday weekend and again Monday morning.

ink coffee protest 5pkg frame 671 Five Points Ink! Coffee Shop Remains Closed

(credit: CBS)

Despite the sign on the door stating the coffee shop would open Monday, it remained closed.

ink coffee sign Five Points Ink! Coffee Shop Remains Closed

(credit: Kasey Learned/CBS4)

Tay Anderson is a Five Points’ resident, “I called it a victory for us a testament that they say that they hear and understand the community voice.”

Someone posted a sticker that seemed to encapsulate the issue, “If you rented here you
would be homeless now,” it read.

ink coffee protest 5pkg frame 1061 Five Points Ink! Coffee Shop Remains Closed

(credit: CBS)

“I lost my home in March and moved in with a family in Five Points ever since,” said Anderson.

This is a neighborhood undergoing change where the “out with the old” is butting heads with the “in with the new.”

ink coffee 1 Five Points Ink! Coffee Shop Remains Closed

(credit: CBS)

Denver City Councilman Albus Brooks got an earful at Monday’s protest as one man shouted, “I am a 66-year-old, this is our property, I’m not talking about blacks or whites, I’m talking about the soul of neighborhood!”

Brooks told CBS4 he is hoping to turn the issue into something positive, “There’s a lot of anger is out there in the community when the anger and protesting runs out what will be the end result.”

ink coffee protest 5pkg frame 2192 Five Points Ink! Coffee Shop Remains Closed

Denver City Councilman Albus Brooks (credit: CBS)

He has been in touch with Ink!’s owners. They have apologized for the sign and expressed regrets, but Anderson doesn’t back what Ink! has written to the public, “We drank too much of our own product, it’s not a joke, it’s offensive, it hurts us,” Anderson said.

ink coffee protest 5pkg frame 731 Five Points Ink! Coffee Shop Remains Closed

(credit: CBS)

Ink! and its advertising agency Cultivator did not return requests for comment to CBS4 by the
time this story was posted.

CBS4’s Rick Sallinger is a Peabody award winning reporter who has been with the station more than two decades doing hard news and investigative reporting. Follow him on Twitter @ricksallinger.

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