The managers of Bermondsey café 'Fuckoffee' have received a legal letter on behalf of their building's landlord - despite the sign having been in place for over a year.
The letter warns that unless they "immediately" remove the sign the building owners will remove it themselves or seek a court injunction to have it taken down.
Fuckoffee responded by tweeting a picture of the letter saying "No humour please, we're British".
No humour please, we're British. pic.twitter.com/P1U9VhAEho— Fuckoffee (@fuck0ffee) October 21, 2015
The letter, dated 20 October, says: “We are instructed that you have either erected or allowed your sub-tenant to erect an offensive sign on the exterior of the building… without the permission or authority of our client and this constitutes a trespass."
It demands that the 'Fuckoffee' sign above the shop front be taken down, or "our client will have no option but to remove the sign themselves or issue court proceedings seeking an injunction requiring you to remove the sign.”
The letter also threatens that the landlords could cancel the coffee shop's lease.
Damian O'Brien, a ward councillor for the area, told the Evening Standard he liked the café but its sign had prompted complained from people living nearby, including some complaints to police.
People rallied to support the café, criticising its "humourless" landlords:
My full support for @fuck0ffee against their humourless landlords.— BrokenBOOtleboy (@brokenbottleboy) October 21, 2015
@fuck0ffee This sucks arse. Don't let the buggers win. Love your place.— sticky geko (@sticky_geko) October 22, 2015
@fuck0ffee "fuckoffee" is offensive? Then I find their total lack of a sense of humor offensive, and demand it to be taken down!— Darius Liadon (@DariusLiadon) October 21, 2015
@fuck0ffee “The shop formerly known as Fuckoffee“. You might need to buy more Lego for the sign though.— Andy The BT Man (@AndyTheBTMan) October 22, 2015
@fuck0ffee I'll be down for a Hot Chocolate later, to show my support for your outrageously (non)offensive signage.— Paul N (@londonpommie) October 22, 2015
A petition has been launched, with 50 signatures at the time of writing, calling for support for the shop.
It reads: "There is a small, indie coffee shop in Bermondsey called Fuckoffee. They have had a few anally retentive and gormless people complain about their name and now they have their money grabbing corporate landlord demand they take the sign down as it is deemed to be "offensive".
"We, the undersigned, confirm we have a sense of humour and find the continued attack on our beloved Fuckoffee an insult to freedom of expression, freedom of speech and humour."
Fuckoffee also launched into a series of tweets ridiculing the legal letter, and suggesting other things that might be considered "offensive":
"Offended" by pastries pic.twitter.com/EMt3Z2BIR1— Fuckoffee (@fuck0ffee) October 22, 2015
"Offended" by dog biscuits pic.twitter.com/tvhyUrNTi4— Fuckoffee (@fuck0ffee) October 22, 2015
"Offensive" loyalty cards pic.twitter.com/OJn9FvNFTr— Fuckoffee (@fuck0ffee) October 22, 2015
"Offensive" cups pic.twitter.com/kHoFhDd4lY— Fuckoffee (@fuck0ffee) October 22, 2015
And some fans helpfully suggested new names it could try:
@fuck0ffee fcukoffee— comehappy.leave.edgy (@bricklanecoffee) October 21, 2015
While another couldn't resist a good coffee joke:
@fuck0ffee Tell them you'll comply sooner or latte...— Miki (@MikiB007) October 22, 2015
Fuckoffee’s manager Adrian Jones was recently involved in controversy after a sign appeared outside another of his cafés nearby.
Brick Lane Coffee was photographed with a sign saying "Sorry no poor people". Jones told The Evening Standard that the words were graffiti.