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'Gentrification Sale' at Uptown Diner Offers Single French Fry for $8.99

 Signs advertised a pretend sale on a block where several long-time businesses were recently evicted.
Washington Heights 'Gentrification in Progress Sale'
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Just call it Williamsburg Heights.

An Uptown restaurant locked in a legal battle with its landlord got a gentrification-inspired makeover Monday. 

Punta Cana Restaurant, which has been at 3880 Broadway for almost 30 years, was temporarily transformed into the Case de Campo Restaurant, named for an exclusive resort in the Dominican Republic.

Signs announced a “Gentrification in Progress Sale,” with faux ads for Jarritos with an $11.99 corkage fee, a single hand-cut seasonal French fry for $8.99 and a “Desayuno del Hipster,” or hipster breakfast, for $8.99.

Jeremiah’s Vanishing New York reported that the signs were the work of Doug Cameron and Tommy Noonan, two Brooklyn residents who created a similar campaign when their local deli was threatened by a large rent increase in May 2015.

This time Cameron and Noonan focused their energies on a stretch of Broadway between 162nd and 163rd streets, where landlord Coltown Properties recently evicted several longtime local businesses, including a barbershop, two clothing stores and a tax preparer. Only Punta Cana and El Buen Camino fruit stand remain.

Cameron and Noonan gave a similar treatment to the now-vacant storefronts, which officials said would likely become one large restaurant.

Tongue-in-cheek signs that advertised the storefronts for rent suggested possible uses for the spaces, including a barbershop specializing in “CrowdSourced Artisan Bangs with Flax” and a pet spa offering “Doggy Botox.”

Another banner advertised a new version of the fruit stand.

“Frutera El Buen Hipster: Now with Expensive Green Juices and Kombuchas,” it read.

The pair also included a sign urging people to support the Small Business Jobs Survival Act, or the "Bill de Bodega," as they have re-christened it. The bill would ensure business owners 10-year leases with the right to renew, leveling the playing field between landlords and commercials tenants, supporters say.

Raul Liriano, a 35-year resident of Washington Heights and a regular customer at Punta Cana, supported the campaign.

“They’re trying to say that the neighborhood will soon be too expensive for us, the community who has been living here for a long time,” Liriano said. “Somebody has to say something.”

Although the signs seemed to poke fun at some of the area’s newer residents, Liriano said he doesn’t blame them for the rent increase.

“The rent Downtown is too expensive so they move here,” he said. “Everything goes back to the landlords. They make the law and whatever they say, we have to pay.”

Cameron and Noonan did not immediately respond to a request for comment.