Evans restaurant sees success after online backlash over drag show

Published: Jun. 30, 2022 at 12:14 AM EDT
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EVANS, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - An event hosted at a restaurant in Evans triggered a lot of online tension in Columbia County.

“Stay. Social Tap and Table” hosted what it called a family-friendly drag show on Wednesday but that was met with pushback on social media, but it actually helped expand business.

For the performers like Molly Sapphire Hangover, it’s about art and self-expression.

“A lot of people express themselves through drag,” she said. “This is a safe place for myself. It’s drag, and I love entertaining people.”

Not everyone saw it that way.

Renee Hajek, the owner said they received pushback after announcing it as a family-friendly event.

“There are a couple of groups in the community that are showing a lot of backlash, claiming that we are gearing towards children, that we are marketing to children that we are trying to groom children,” said Hajek. “That’s a couple of things I’ve heard.”

The county has a code that prohibits adult-only entertainment.

“Columbia County only allows family-friendly entertainment so the marketing of such just goes along with the laws that we are bound by,” said Hajek.

The performers also vowed it would be acceptable for all ages.

“We’re not telling you to bring your kids necessarily, but you can if you want to,” said Hangover. “But we’ve already signed an agreement saying we’re not going to do certain things.”

Still, posts online threatened protests.

But the only protesters who showed up with signs were supporters like James Franklin.

“We just heard there were going to be protests out here,” said Franklin. “I figured why not come out and try to have a conversation with them and maybe we can come to an understanding.”

News 12 checked with the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office and they said as of Wednesday afternoon, no one had filed a permit to protest the event.

Protest or not, the social media attention stemming from this event led to a demand for another show, which sold out in less than 24 hours.

For Hajek, this is a perfect fit to round out Pride Month.

“I’ve been overwhelmed with the support that we’ve gotten,” said Hajek.

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