PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – A Pittsburgh coffee shop is generating national headlines for a rewards punch card that features the faces of prominent conservatives, including President Donald Trump.
Black Forge Coffee House in Allentown says the punch card, which they’ve offered since before the election, is meant to be satirical.
The business has received plenty of criticism, not only locally, but from around the country. Some have resorted to leaving 1-star reviews on Facebook to voice their dislike of the punch card. Some of the reviews are being made by people who have not even visited the business.
“I have been informed that this coffee shop finds it amusing to belittle our POTUS and does not support the military/veterans. I do not support this establishment and offer my review of 1 star,” one commenter said.
“Anyone, especially a company, that promotes putting a hole in the head of our elected leaders is obviously sick and demented,” another commenter said.
“Coffee taste like liberal dirt water !! Hope you folks get your act together,” another said.
In addition to Trump, the 10-face card also features Vice President Mike Pence, Sen. Ted Cruz, Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh and former Pa. Sen. Rick Santorum.
As with any coffee shop punch card reward program, when all the faces have been punched, the customer gets a free cup of coffee.
Owners say Black Forge Coffee House, which features a punk rock and heavy metal theme, does not mean any harm by the punch cards.
“We didn’t want it to turn out this way. We were just doing what we normally do,” said Black Forge Coffee House co-owner Ashley Corts. “We’re not condoning any sort of violence. We’re not condoning any sort of hate. It’s just our way of expressing ourselves.”
Not everyone is furious at the coffee house, several customers feel the cards are not out of the ordinary.
“People get offended by red Starbucks cups. Something like this – that’s going to generate controversy. It’s a very big political statement. I’m not surprised by how it got. But I think it’s a good business move because it gets people talking,” said Tyler Moloney, who is a regular customer.
“I kind of feel like if you have a black metal coffee shop, what do you really expect? But on the other hand, I can see how it would be offensive to some people. I don’t know. They have good coffee though,” said Brittney Thomas.
Regardless of the reaction, owners say the cards aren’t going anywhere.
“That is our freedom as Americans and as small business owners to express ourselves,” said Corts.