A Roanoke restaurant is moving just one year after community outrage against its hosting an “all-ages” drag show, drawing renewed attention to an activist group that has opposed such performances across the metroplex.

Anderson Distillery and Grill’s last day of business at its Roanoke location will be Sunday, according to the company’s Facebook page.

The restaurant had a “Barrel Babes Drag Brunch” in August of last year hosted by the owner’s son, whose drag name is Trisha Delish, reported Texas Scorecard. Several children were reportedly at the event and handed cash to the drag queens at the encouragement of the attending adults.

Protect Texas Kids (PTK) organized a protest last year at the restaurant that was met with a counterprotest from apparent members of the left-wing group Antifa. Kelly Neidert, the executive director of PTK, said she believes the restaurant is moving locations because the community turned against its overly sexualized and political promotions.

“It doesn’t really fit in with the culture of the town,” Neidert told The Dallas Express. “I know there were a few suppers they had in Roanoke but the vast majority of people living there were not supportive of what the business was promoting. I’m sure it was hard to get business.”

Anderson Distillery and Grill did not respond to a request for comment.

Roanoke city officials privately decried the drag show and discussed ways to counter its promotion, according to internal emails obtained by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Anderson Distillery and Grill will move from Roanoke to Denton, which Neidert said is a clear attempt to find an environment more welcoming of LGBTQ events.

“I definitely think it was a direct response to the backlash they faced, and it’s good they’re moving out of [Roanoke],” Neidert told The Dallas Express. “Denton is probably the best, aside from Dallas, to continue hosting those events. I think that’s definitely why they did it.”

The restaurant’s move is not the first victory claimed by Protect Texas Kids against what the group deems overly sexualized content for children. 

Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas canceled a “Puberty and Periods Party” for Dallas-area 4th and 5th graders after PTK organized a protest outside their building. Police arrived at the abortion clinic ahead of the protest and monitored the scene.

The organization’s successes, though, have hardly come without pushback. A video shared by PTK on Twitter apparently shows Neidert threatened at a Pride event in Dallas in June.


“Somebody is going to shoot you in the head,” an attendee told her.

Gov. Greg Abbott has since signed a bill “restricting certain sexually oriented performances on public property” or “in the presence of a child” that will go into effect next month, as previously reported by The Dallas Express.

Left-wing civil rights groups have denounced the bill and overall criticism of drag shows as restrictive of First Amendment-protected free expression. The American Civil Liberty Union of Texas announced a lawsuit against the Texas bill last week.

Drag performers have pushed back against the idea that drag shows are always sexually explicit and unsuitable for children.

Austin drag queen Brigitte Bandit, who has participated in “family-friendly” performances, told The Texas Tribune: “Like any form of art, drag can be modified to be appropriate for children. We are smart enough to know what that is.”

Still, Neidert said she is focused on continuing to prevent children from being exposed to inappropriate material, which she says includes drag shows.

“We’re simply advocating to protect kids from this sexually explicit content,” Neidert told The Dallas Express. “And we’re effective, so the leftist mainstream media doesn’t like us and will smear us at all costs.”