Restaurant Fights Off Critics, Doubles Down With ‘Black Olives Matter’ Merchandise

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By Nahema Marchal | 11:09 am, August 16, 2016

After making national headlines for putting up a “Black Olives Matter” billboard in a bid to increase sales (it worked), the owner of an Italian restaurant in New Mexico is now working a new angle.

Rick Camuglia, owner of Paisano’s in Albuquerque, is selling “Black Olives Matter” t-shirts and hats, and advertising on Facebook.

Camuglia had initially put the poster up to promote one of the restaurant’s new dishes, made with black olive tapenade. Initially met with huge backlash from Internet commenters who said the poster was offensive and trivialized the importance of the Black Lives Matter movement, the restaurant has since received unexpected support from loyal customers and people in other parts of the world.

“It’s gone so viral. We’ve gotten calls from Australia, Spain, France, you name it,” Camuglia told Albuquerque news station KOAT-TV . He even reported a major uptick in business.

“People have filled the restaurant and told us to leave up the sign,” Camuglia said. “That’s great, you know, because a lot of people make a living off working for this restaurant.”

Paisano’s t-shirts are available for $20, and the Ahi tuna special is still on the menu— for the modest sum of $28.95.

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