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Food & Drink

Italian restaurant under fire for selling 'Black Olives Matter' merchandise

An Italian restaurant in New Mexico is under fire after making merchandise with a slogan that mimics the Black Lives Matters Movement.

KOAT-TV reported Monday that Paisano’s in Albuquerque is selling “black olives matter” shirts and hats after making national headlines for putting the phrase on a sign outside the restaurant.

Paisano’s owner Rick Camuglia said he emblazoned the phrase on the restaurant's main sign to sell a new recipe: a tuna dish with black olive tapenade.

Camuglia posted pictures of the dish and the sign on Facebook, drawing complaints he was being insensitive and trivializing a movement aimed at trying to stop police shootings of black residents.

Within hours of Paisano’s post, Camuglia told Fox News last month the page was flooded with negative comments and the restaurant was inundated with phone calls.

“People were calling us racist. Saying we were a white supremacist restaurant. Some got really derogatory and just started cursing me out.”

Camuglia insisted he was not trying to stir racial tensions and was only trying to sell food.

He said that people from all over the world has called his restaurant to show him support.

"It's gone so viral. We've gotten calls from Australia, Spain, France, you name it," Camuglia said.

He said that he put the slogan on hats and T-shirts because people who supported the restaurant wanted to by a souvenir of sorts from the restaurant.

Camuglia also told the station that business is booming.

"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."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.