(Photo by Bryan Thomas/Getty Images)

Three Michigan coffee shops were forced to close this past week due to receiving threatening letters.

All three shops made the decision to close temporarily due to the safety of employees and patrons.

Gathering Coffee Co. in Detroit’s Milwaukee Junction area was able to reopen on Wednesday (March 1) after posting an Instagram post stating that the shop received a 10-page letter that included “dates and threats of potential harm.”

The other two shops were both owned by Strange Matter Coffee, the company’s two locations in Lansing. The brand posted an announcement on Tuesday (February 28), as well as a post on Wednesday (March 1) describing details about the the letter they received. They stated that the owners believe the shops were targeted because of a Pride flag on display. They also stated that the shops would remain closed through Thursday and reopen on Friday (March 3). “Initially when we received this letter, we were only aware of two other locations that had received it,” they shared. “All queer owned, or flying a pride flag.⁠ Since our original post other businesses have contacted us with similar letter experiences from the same author.” Owners also asked other businesses to notify their local FBI office if they have also received a similar letter.

The Gathering Instagram post stated that the coffee shop received a 10-page letter that had “dates and threats of potential harm.” In the message, they stated, “Due to the nature of this letter, out of protection for our team and for you, our community, we have decided to close our doors for the next week, until these dates have passed. This decision will give us time to implement new safety protocols as we seek to re-open our doors, and will not do so, until these protocols are put into place,” reads the social media post.”

Anne Erickson's love for music drew her into radio. She started on the airwaves shortly after graduating from MSU. Anne has a passion for rock and metal, and she also fronts the band Upon Wings. Email Anne at erickson@WRIF.com, follow her on Instagram at @EricksonAnne and tweet at her @AnneErickson! Anne covers the Detroit, Philadelphia and Las Vegas markets and beyond.