Coffee shop brews up backlash with political punch cards

March 31, 2017
In this Thursday, March 30, 2017 photo, Nick Miller, co-owner of the Black Forge Coffee House in Pittsburgh's Allentown neighborhood, holds a punch card featuring President Donald Trump and nine other conservative politicians and media icons. The card has caused a mini-furor with the shop receiving a deluge of phone calls and online comments, both of disparagement and support from around the country. Miller says the satiric cards are meant to express frustration with the system and nothing more. (Dan Gigler /Pittsburgh Post-Gazette via AP)

PITTSBURGH (AP) — A Pittsburgh coffee shop is brewing up backlash over a loyalty punch card featuring pictures of President Donald Trump and other conservatives.

Black Forge Coffee House owner Nick Miller says the satiric cards are meant to express frustration with the system and nothing more. However, critics complain the punch holes make it look like the politicos have been shot in the forehead.

The subjects include Vice President Mike Pence, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum and conservative pundits Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh and Bill O’Reilly.

Store owners say the cards aren’t meant to endorse violence.

“Most people take a look at it and laugh,” said Ashley Corts, who co-owns the heavy metal-themed coffeehouse.

The shop sits next to a police headquarters and hosts “Coffee with a Cop” sessions and other neighborhood events. News reports about the loyalty cards, though, have spawned critics on social media and sometimes threatening phone calls.

“It’s definitely been a rough couple of days. It escalated quickly and not to the intent that we wanted,” Corts said. ”(But) we’ve had hundreds of people come in to show support.”

The shop has used punch cards featuring some of the same figures, but not Trump, since before the election.

Patrons can earn a free cup of coffee through the punch card.

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