The red door, the haloed mural, the paisley couches.
Soon, all of it will be gone.
People’s Perk has called the white brick building in Greensboro’s College Hill neighborhood home for the last six years.
“This has been a joyful and satisfying experience,” says Karen Archia, the owner and co-founder of the small, radical coffee shop. Archia opened the shop in 2013 with her friend Nancy Lenk, who retired in 2016.
Archia says she decided to close the shop because it had become unsustainable. People’s Perk will officially close after Aug. 14.
Archia urged members of the community to join in a paint and pizza party on Saturday to paint over the “Wonderful Women and Fabulous Femmes” mural that graces the large right wall towards the front of the shop. The piece, which was created in 2017, features black and brown women and femmes including Bree Newsome, the Charlotte-born filmmaker and activist who is best known for removing the Confederate flag from the South Carolina State House grounds.
“If you look at mainstream historical accounts, often women of color are left out,” Archia said in an interview with TCB from 2017. “It’s an important goal for me as a woman of color to help honor and reveal those stories.”
For six years, Archia created an inclusive space that not only honored but uplifted the voices of marginalized people in the city. Socialist gatherings, spoken word […] hosted by black women, open mics and more took place regularly within the café’s walls.
“Some coffee houses are great for putting your head down and cranking out work,” said Fahiym Hanna, a local organizer and owner of Sensuous Scents. “But the People’s Perk was an amazing connecting point for people like me who do community organizing work and are politically active. If you didn’t run into anyone you knew during your visit Karen would introduce you to someone new or talk [to] you herself; she is always amazing company! The People’s Perk was really like a town square that also sold coffee.”
Tina Trutanich, another local organizer in the community, also expressed her sadness about the shop’s closing on Wednesday.
“The People’s Perk, to me, will always represent the best of the Triad: warm, welcoming and rad community,” Trutanich said via a Facebook message. “The Perk connected folks throughout the Triad — it will be deeply missed.”