‘Black Olives Matter' slogan at New Mexico restaurant pulled after going viral, reports Wash. Post

Posted at 9:20 AM, Aug 16, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-16 10:20:17-04

A restaurant in Albuquerque, New Mexico is turning quite a few heads after it made a pun out of the Black Lives Matter slogan.

The Italian restaurant named Paisano’s posted “Black Olives Matter … try our tapenade” on its outdoor billboard, reports the Washington Post.

Now, the sign has been shared several times with many claiming its message is “offensive” or “tacky.”

The owner Rick Camuglia told NBC affiliate KOB, “We put up what we thought was a cute play on words, which we do commonly here at the restaurant. We were trying to promote our pan-seared Ahi tuna with a black olive tapenade relish. And so we put ‘black olives matter, try our tapenade.'”

Since going viral, The Washington Post says, the sign and photo of the sign have been removed.

“We didn’t think anybody would be offended by that,” Camuglia told CBS affiliate KRQE said. “It was not our intent to offend anybody.”

The restaurant crew said Friday in a statement:

Since Wednesday, July 13th, we have been inundated with positive, supportive phone calls from the community as well as overwhelmed with business, not only from our “regulars”, but from so many new customers who came from Albuquerque, surrounding cities, and even neighboring States simply to support us.

A heartfelt “Thank You” to you from our Crew, some of whom were moved to tears because of your kind words and outpouring of support.

Many nowadays would contend that society has changed for the worse, but our experience this week has proven the opposite. We have encountered so many quality people of character; salt of the earth and the bedrock of America. Awesome.

Many have shown a unique way to show solidarity. I can’t count the number of customer’s orders who’ve included adding Black Olives to every dish ordered. Pizzas, Sandwiches and pasta dishes with “double Black Olives Please!” all day long. So much that we almost ran out and ordered more.

We have served Albuquerque for over 40 years and look forward to the next 40.