A Denton bar and grill canceled a Disney-themed drag brunch open to all ages as a precaution after allegedly receiving threats in the form of “aggressive phone calls and hateful comments.”
Cool Beans Bar and Grill was set to host the event on Sunday, September 11, but it suddenly canceled the event on Friday, September 9 through a post on its Facebook page.
“To those of you out there who have forced us to make this decision, shame on you!” bar management said in a statement posted on social media. “Shame on you for putting fear into us with your threats, your horrible DMs, your aggressive phone calls, and hateful comments. This is not a ‘win’ for you.”
They added that the drag brunch had caught the attention of “certain political groups who have made it very clear they aren’t happy about this event.” Ultimately, they said, the cancelation was made because of safety concerns.
“The safety of our employees and customers comes before ANYTHING else,” read the post.
The planned event drew the ire of many residents before it was canceled, according to Denton city spokesperson Stuart Birdseye, with one Denton resident commenting on the City’s website:
“There is an ‘all ages drag show’ happening at ‘Cool Beans Bar and Grill’ this Sunday. I have been to MANY drag shows and am not against them. But I am against kids being at these events. Drag shows have always been an adults only activity until very recently. What kind of permit does one need to put on a drag show for children?”
Presumably quoting an advertisement for the brunch, the commenter continued, “‘Just a reminder that there is NO COVER and make sure to bring $1 bills for the queens.’ So, kids will watch adults tip drag queens, or doing (sic) it themselves.”
Before the event was canceled, Denton Mayor Gerard Hudspeth reportedly contacted city staff to ask what, if anything, the city could do to shut down the gathering at the privately owned business.
Hudspeth told the Denton Record-Chronicle he posed the question after receiving several requests from residents to shut down Sunday’s drag brunch. He said he knew the city could not regulate the event but wanted to double-check to make sure that no relevant “arbitrary ordinance” happened to exist.
He labeled his request an “educational opportunity.”
“This is a private event, and we have no jurisdiction,” Hudspeth said. “I’m not leaning to support it or not to support it. I wanted to educate and wanted to confirm. I don’t want to be wrong — ever.”
The event was canceled before Hudspeth’s question could be answered by city staff.
The Denton Police Department told The Dallas Express that the planned Disney-themed drag brunch did not violate any laws or city ordinances and that the owner of Cool Beans has filed a police report for harassment.
The cancellation comes less than two weeks after another drag event at Anderson Distillery & Grill in Roanoke, also in Denton County, drew protesters and armed counterprotesters protecting the drag queens and leftist patrons.