Oak Lawn Eatery Hosts St. Patty’s Day Drag Brunch

Hamburger Mary’s in Oak Lawn
Hamburger Mary’s in Oak Lawn | Image by Andrew Norsworthy/The Dallas Express

A local bar and restaurant took on a green shine this weekend and hosted another drag show.

Locals gathered at Hamburger Mary’s in Oak Lawn for a St. Patrick’s Day-themed Shantaé & Friends drag brunch on Saturday. The 21-and-up show took place from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

As previously reported by The Dallas Express, all-ages drag shows drew scrutiny and protests around the metroplex and other parts of the Lone Star State over the last few years. Drag has also been called “derisive, divisive, and demoralizing misogyny” by West Texas A&M University president Walter Wendler, who canceled a drag show at the university in March of 2023.

Attending guests were served alcoholic drinks such as “Shantae’s shots” and brunch items before the start of the show.

In addition to St. Patrick’s Day-themed decoration, the tables at Hamburger Mary’s had genitalia-shaped candies and packets of contraceptives and lubricants courtesy of HELP Center for LGBT Health & Wellness.

DeeJay Johannessen, CEO of the organization, briefly took the stage to address the audience, informing attendees of the services the group provides, such as contraceptives, HIV and syphilis testing, “gender-affirming care,” and more for adults and adolescents who are still on their parent’s insurance plan.

The drag show began shortly after guests were served, with host Shantae Morgan and other queens, such as Aunt Marge, Alicia Tried, and Velma K. L’Amour, dancing and lipsyncing as patrons passed cash tips. The performers also paired up for some performances as they danced and interacted with guests.

Between performances, a raffle was also held for special items. One performance was dedicated to a woman named Karen, a supporter of the show who recently died from cancer. The afternoon’s final performance saw the queens dancing to an Irish tune in green dresses.

The Dallas Express asked to speak with Arthur Hood, owner and franchisee of the Oak Lawn location, however, he was not present at the show.

Danny Cabrera, show director for Hamburger Mary’s, told The Dallas Express that the local community has shown a great deal of acceptance for the drag performances. He also explained that the location will be lifting its age restrictions.

“If somebody comes in here with a child, they know what they’re getting into, so ultimately that is something that I think that the family decides,” said Cabrera.

Cabrera also said the venue provides a safe place for younger members of the LGBTQ community, recounting his own experience growing up.

“I’m super excited that we allow all ages to come in here because you never know. It could save a life actually,” said Cabrera. “Just for that, that young kid that’s being bullied in school to walk in here and feel accepted and loved and a part of it could really, I think, help them.”

Local activist Kelly Neidert, who used to lead Protect Texas Kids, targeted such shows and venues in the past. She previously told DX, “For somebody to be okay with kids attending, I think they’re okay with children being sexualized at that point and exposing children to extremely sexual content. I truly don’t understand how anyone should be okay with that.”

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