PILSEN — After a second round of anti-gentrification signs were plastered over the windows at Bow Truss over the weekend, the coffee shop's owner hopes the people responsible will come forward and take part in a conversation about the polarizing issue.
Phil Tadros, owner of the shop at 1641 18th St., said Monday he sincerely wants to meet with whoever put up the signs in the cover of night.
"To do anything positive, or move forward, we have to have a conversation with the people doing this. We aren't here to harm anyone," Tadros said.
Mauricio Peña says Tadros welcomes the discussion:
A second set of signs, left sometime Saturday night or Sunday morning, featured similar messages left only days earlier.
"GENTRIFICATION IS NOT Welcome here! Racism and Classism smelllls like your coffee..." read one.
"Te Gusta leche con tu cafe? Sugar with your GENTRIFICATION?" read another.
Both incidents were first reported by Eater.
"It didn't make sense, because we're a local business, and we support local businesses," said Tadros, who also has locations in Lakeview and River North, and has stores planned for Logan Square and the Loop. "It kind of feels like they're barking up the wrong tree."
The second incident made the coffee shop staff and customers curious to find out who was behind the signs.
"Is it someone who has been in the neighborhood all their lives? Or is it someone who moved here recently?" Tadros wondered.
Tadros hopes the people responsible come forward to discuss some of the issues the signs have been raising — issues that have surfaced time and time again in Pilsen. He encouraged a direct conversation about the signs rather than anonymous posting after coffee shop hours.
"We want to talk, but leaving these signs at night is not a productive way to come up with a balanced solution," Tadros said.
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