Michael Pollice is known for his thought-provoking—and sometimes controversial—signs in front of Domenico’s Ristorante on Route 19 in Cranberry.
This week, one sign in particular is grabbing people’s attention—and headlines.
On Monday, Pollice erected a sign that said “Flying Remote Control Airplanes into Muslim People at the Mall is My Thing.”
The sign—which was featured on several local news stations and even, Pollice said, on CNN—ignited a firestorm of responses ranging from outrage over the sign to support of its message. Several readers also contacted Cranberry Patch about the sign, among them Dr. Amesh Adalja.
“While it is Mr. Pollice's inalienable right to express such sentiments, for a business to potentially disillusion consumers by such a crude stunt causes me to question the business acumen of the owners of Domenico's,” he wrote in an email to Patch.
“I anticipate that his actions will trigger a boycott of some sort from citizens and he—and the other owners of Domenico's—will suffer the consequences of the emanations from a primitive mind.”
Pollice, who is one of the family-run eatery’s owners, said he meant no harm by the sign.
“I didn’t think it would cause this much controversy,” he said. “It doesn’t really mean anything. I just thought the words went well together. It was stupid and fun.”
While he has received some negative comments—including a woman who he said came into the restaurant and yelled at him—Pollice said most of the responses have been positive. Some people even have stopped by Domenico's to pose for photos in front of the sign, he said.
“Most people who come here were fine with it,” he said. “Our customers have been 99 percent positive.”
Pollice was adamant he is not a racist or intolerent of other religions. The sign was something he dreamed up while sleeping, he said, and it had nothing to do with the Memorial Day holiday.
“It was a joke,” he said. “I had no ulterior motive, I just like it.”
The attention also won’t make him shy away from posting more controversial signs in the future. By Saturday, Pollice had a new sign posted in front of the restaurant.
This one reads, “If This Sign Offends You, Call a Dead Soldier's Parents to Complain.”
What do you think of Pollice’s sign? Is it freedom of speech? Would the sign cause you to quit frequenting the restaurant? Do you take it as a sign of religious intolerance, or like Pollice, do you see it as a joke? Leave your opinion in the comment section.