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Job Centre bar defends itself after Deptford locals deem it 'offensive'

The job centre pictured in 2008 before it was closed down. Photo: Google Street View

A Deptford bar has defended itself after it faced a backlash from local residents and online campaigners over its name.

The Job Centre pub, converted from a former employment centre, promises an ""quirky design features inspired by its function as a place that once served the unemployed".

However, it found itself at the centre of a social media storm as people accused the owners of "ironic gentrification" in one of the more deprived parts of London.

The bar tweeted:

Richard Simcox, of the Public and Commercial Services Union, who campaigned to keep the original centre opened, told the Guardian:

It is just grossly insulting that they are inviting people to go and enjoy themselves with an ironic nod and wink that this was once a place for poor people.

The poorer people who used to use this as a place to find work are now being priced out of areas like Deptford, so to make a feature of the kind of public service that the job centre used to provide is outrageous and in very poor taste.

Local residents equally slammed the bar as being "abhorrent", and "irresponsible":

King's College London lecturer and local resident Jane Elliot, wrote in the Guardian that the hipster bar was in "bad taste" and that it was the "leading edge of gentrification".

It's true, of course, that such businesses can't be blamed for the perfect storm of gentrification and austerity currently dismantling low-income neighbourhoods. But that doesn't mean that their "bad taste" is just window dressing.

This brand of ironic recycling has become the signature style of gentrification in London and far beyond – so second-nature that the offence it might give has become invisible to those responsible.

However, there were some who disagreed that the name caused offence: