Restaurant ignores critics, sells 'Black Olives Matter' shirts and hats

An Albuquerque Italian restaurant has set the internet on fire with its line of "Black Olives Matters" shirts and hats, with critics castigating what they feel is a flippant play on the "Black Lives Matters" movement and fans urging the business not to back down.

It appears that the restaurant, Paisano's, is embracing the social media storm.

The restaurant says its slogan originated to promote a dish on the menu and later inspired the branded T-shirts and hats. The hat is being sold for $25, the restaurant says on its Facebook page.

Many Twitter commentators were swift to condemn the marketing ploy:

But the restaurant is receiving lots of support, too.

New customers Cedric and Marcea who came in specifically because of the T-shirt news story "controversy"       " Great...

Posted by Paisano's on Thursday, August 11, 2016

Restaurant owner Rick Camuglia told BuzzFeed News his chef came up with the idea to place the phrase on the restaurant's sign first, and he approved it. Camuglia was surprised by the public's reaction.

"We thought it was a cute play on words that would draw somebody to try our black olives," he said. "It was literal. There was nothing positive or negative about (Black Lives Matter) that inspired us to put that on the sign."

Explore>> Restaurant's 'Black Olives Matter' sign draws ire, boosts sales

In July, the restaurant posted a message of thanks to its supporters, as well as a link noting the controversy has boosted sales.

Thank you Albuquerque, New Mexico, and surrounding States!
Since Wednesday, July 13th, we have been inundated with...

Posted by Paisano's on Friday, July 15, 2016

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