Ink! Coffee on Larimer Street, Denver, Colorado

by Jason Page March. 19, 2018 718 views

In November 2017, Ink! Coffee opened a location in a formerly bad neighborhood in Denver, now known as the RiNo Arts District (River North Arts District). Upon opening, they placed a sign out front that read "Happily Gentrifying the Neighborhood since 2014" and all hell broke loose. I took these pictures after the paint smears and eggs had been removed. Protests filled the neighborhood.

We used to call this neighborhood Five Points (or Curtis Park), and like any other neighborhood with that name, it had a reputation. I remember going to concerts 10 years ago at a small club 2 blocks from this location called the Larimer Lounge. Back then, we would park as close as we could and run to get inside. In the last 5 or 6 years, this neighborhood has gone through some changes. The hipsters have entered and the gangs are leaving.

Gentrification is defined by Webster as: "the process of renewal and rebuilding accompanying the influx of middle-class or affluent people into deteriorating areas that often displaces poorer residents." This is assuredly what has been happening in the Five Points area. But I question whether this is a bad thing. A neighborhood that I was once afraid to enter is now cleaner and safer for those living there. Crime is down and people, many of whom are locals, are opening businesses and engaging in commerce. I genuinely don't know how to feel about this, but I find it disturbing that those opposed to the gentrification of the area acted with violence and destruction of property as their means of protest, which seems to be nothing but the thug mentality that made the neighborhood dangerous previously...

Ink! Coffee, the site of a local controversy.

Ink! Coffee, the site of a local controversy.

Ink! Coffee - B&W

Ink! Coffee - B&W

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Andi Saw 3 years, 3 months ago
Comment was removed by admin
3 years, 3 months ago Edited
Jason Page Replied to Andi Saw 3 years, 3 months ago

I absolutely understand that there are 2 perspectives.  For me, its one of those life conundrums in which both sides seem to share some fault, but both staunchly believe that they are wholly in the right.  I honestly think that it was a joke in poor taste.  This particular company has a very "hipster" vibe to it.  I honestly don't believe that there was any malice intended, but it was a very poorly received joke.

3 years, 3 months ago Edited
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