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Reader: Whether It's Called RiNo or Five Points, I Can't Afford It

Reader: Whether It's Called RiNo or Five Points, I Can't Afford It
Odell Brewing
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Odell Brewing just changed the name of its brewery and taproom at 2945 Larimer Street from RiNo Brewhouse to Five Points Brewhouse.  "We have absolutely loved being a part of this community and getting to know our neighbors. In conversations we’ve had with these neighbors, we realized that by not using the Five Points name, we were participating in the diminishment of the Five Points neighborhood," the Fort Collins-based brewery wrote in a Facebook post explaining the move.

On Denver's official neighborhood map, Five Points stretches all the way from Welton Street — once known as the "Harlem of the West" because of its vibrant Black entertainment scene — to the South Platte River. That portion was a vast, dusty warehouse area in the early 2000s, when artists living and working there got the idea of creating an arts district — the RiNo (River North) Art District. Today that district is an overlay not just over parts of Five Points, but other neighborhoods, too. And the RiNo label has been increasingly applied to businesses and developments for the area from Larimer Street to points west.

But no longer at Odell's first brewery in Denver, which promises that "we will continue to engage the Five Points community, create an inclusive space, and offer a guest experience that reflects the quality and intention we put into everything we do here at Odell Brewing."

In their responses to the story posted on the Westword Facebook page, readers wonder exactly what the Five Points community comprises, given the area's fast-changing demographics. And what more does the Fort Collins-based Odell plan to do to recognize it? Says Jayne: 

I wonder how many people who've had drinks at Odell's spot have ever been on Welton Street, much less visited a business there?

Suggests Dominic:

This is like the city naming streets after the tribes that it pillaged...oh, wait they did that, too. Erasing history and slapping your name on it is as American as apple pie.

Responds Josh:

Erasing history and slapping your name on it IS history, not just an American thing.

Comments Ryan:

Now that the earlier residents can't afford the neighborhood, let's play up the "authenticity" factor.

Replies John:

Sure, whine about a positive thing.

Counters Ryan: 

It's not positive. It's a bunch of bullshit to make the yuppies feel better. If Denver actually addressed the housing crisis, I might think differently.

Adds Phil: 

Whether it's called Five Points or RiNo, I can't afford it.

And Devin concludes: 

That's what corporate activism looks like, I guess. Ignore the problems created by gentrification, but pay lip service with a hip retro name. Bravo.

No offense, Westword, but maybe don't give ’em the headline until they contribute to affordable housing initiatives. This is just free advertising for hashtag activists.

What do you think about Odell's move? What do you call the area around 30th and Larimer streets? Post a comment or share your thoughts at editorial@westword.com.

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