Landlord puts Brewbaker’s on notice for ‘Drag Brunch’

By on August 4, 2017

The show was promoted on Brubaker’s Facebook page.

“Eggs, Bacon … and Divas,” a Sunday brunch program featuring female impersonators at JJ Brewbaker’s restaurant in Nags Head, has landed the establishment in hot water with its landlord.

On July 24, the Rosemyr Corp., which owns and operates the Outer Banks Mall, sent a letter declaring that the establishment was in “violation of the lease restrictions” outlined in their rental agreement because Brewbaker’s hosted the female impersonators the day before.

The letter cites an earlier communication Rosemyr sent to J.J. Brewbaker’s stating, “We indicated to you in a letter dated June 22nd that an event including male and/or female impersonators would be in violation of your lease.”


It was signed by Lois S. Williams, vice president of Leasing and Property Management at Rosemyr.

According to Brewbaker’s co-owner Robert Privott, more than 220 tickets were sold to the “Eggs, Bacon … and Divas” event, and the crowd was predominantly heterosexual. It included a large number of local business owners and leaders who showed up for the inaugural event.

Privott said one local real estate company brought eight employees.

Privott and co-owner Debra Halahurich have operated the Absolutely Outer Banks retail store at the Outer Banks Mall for several years.

Two weeks ago, after investing more than $200,000 in improvements to the building, formerly occupied by Applebee’s, they finally opened after a series of delays related to bringing the building up to code and installing a new HVAC system.


The restaurant had used Facebook extensively to tease proposed events, including the “drag queen” divas, “midget wrestling” and a post-2 a.m. breakfast buffet.

All of those ideas created significant chatter, both pro and con, and Privot said Williams did contact him about the “midget wrestling” and expressed her displeasure.

Privott said that in spite of losing $9,000 paid to the event promoter, he agreed to cancel the wrestling. But Privott said he never agreed to cancel the female impersonators.


The lease clause cited by the landlord includes language that prohibits “adult entertainment” at the establishment, he said.

The Town of Nags Head does not include female impersonators in its definition of adult entertainment, said one town official who wished to remain anonymous.

Further, the official said that Nags Head defines “adult entertainment” as a “sexually-oriented business,” which typically would include bars featuring strippers and stores selling sexually-oriented products.

Sexually-oriented businesses are not prohibited in Nags Head, a result of a landmark Supreme Court case, but the town does restrict them to the industrial zone along Lake Drive.

Privott said sexual content was not a part of the Diva brunches. Entertainers typically perform covers of popular music while sometimes copying the look and sound of celebrity singers.

In the past, Kelly’s Outer Banks Restaurant and Tavern held what was known as “alternative night” in the off-season on the third Sunday of every month. Those nights featured entertainment for the gay community and often included female impersonators.

Likewise, Outer Banks PrideFest called Nags Head its home for several years, and female impersonators were brought into establishments in Nags Head as part of the week’s entertainment.

David Miller of OBX Pride noted the Kelly’s shows and a similar one at Gaffer’s Sports Bar in Ocracoke

“It is really much ado about nothing and probably just a misunderstanding of the definition of ‘adult entertainment.’ If you have ever attended a local fundraiser known as a ‘womanless beauty pageant,’ then you already know what a drag show is,” he said.

“The legal definition of ‘adult entertainment’ written into a lease agreement definitely does not happen at a drag show. We urge the owners of the property to come see the shows and afterwards chat with the families who brought their children. They will find out there’s nothing adult about these shows they need to fear.”



  • gsurf123

    Drag queen shows are not adult entertainment by any stretch of the imagination. It’s entertainment, much like a musical group, piano player, or comedian. I hope they do not fold and let the landlord bully him. Considering it was empty for two years they should be happy that they have a tenant who is making every effort to honor the lease. Unless something is excluded from a lease, it is included. If you want to exclude something you will need to be explicit in the lease with examples.

    Friday, Aug 4 @ 2:41 pm
  • Local Born

    If these business owners hadn’t been so rude to other business owners, customers, and clients up and down the beach maybe more would be coming out to help them. But you get what you put out!

    Friday, Aug 4 @ 2:46 pm
  • JC

    There are other cities in the nation that have Drag reading hours to children because they feel that as entertainers they bring more life to the book. If the content is not sexual then it is a non issue. It is not like mud wrestling, wait doesn’t a restaurant already do that, just saying.

    Friday, Aug 4 @ 3:43 pm
  • Right Hook

    I see both sides of this issue – landlord position prohibiting ‘adult entertainment’ and renter position that drag queen shows are not ‘adult entertainment’. This will probably result in a lawyer feeding frenzy. Regardless of my personal views on aberrant lifestyles (in America you have the right to be aberrant w/in the law but I also have the right to not endorse or glorify aberrant lifestyles), let’s allow the free market to make the final determination (as it did with Hooters).

    Friday, Aug 4 @ 5:33 pm
  • runnerguy45

    The landlord has a right to interrupt this as adult entertainment. Though it does not bother me I view it as adult entertainment. Buy your own building and stand before the town and make your case, don’t try to do it from the backdoor.

    Friday, Aug 4 @ 7:49 pm
  • Obxer

    If you don’t watch out they will move to a better site and Applebee’s will be sitting vacant once again. I see nothing wrong with what they are doing. Now just drive round the beach. Dirty dicks. Try my nuts. Toy stores if you catch my drift. Give me a break landlord. Not to mention the vape shops around town. Give ma a break….

    Friday, Aug 4 @ 9:13 pm
  • Jack

    How is this any different than dressing up for halloween?

    Saturday, Aug 5 @ 1:15 am
  • Jackie Harris

    It will all go away when the lease comes up for renewal.

    Saturday, Aug 5 @ 8:33 am
  • eli

    I guess you can be grateful that they don’t have nude dancing establishments like Florida.

    Saturday, Aug 5 @ 9:21 am
  • Me

    What year is this again?

    Saturday, Aug 5 @ 10:01 am
  • Ccg13

    Wonder how that landlord would like to be sued for reimbursement of everything they put into and improved the building? Drag queens are not adult entertainment…..ever heard of womanless beauty pageants or Halloween??

    Saturday, Aug 5 @ 10:09 am
  • liz

    oh please…the landlord should be grateful that someone has put up so much money to improve the building! Drag is “dress up” nothing more. Halloween is actually much worse! Get a grip and let them attract business to help our economy…put your pettiness aside and lighten up.

    Saturday, Aug 5 @ 11:15 am
  • Just Jack

    Just another bully trying to make a slap at the gay community. If you don’t like drag queens, don’t go to the show. I would think that the landlord would be pleased that someone wanted to lease the crappy building. After all the location is not ideal.

    Saturday, Aug 5 @ 12:01 pm
  • Luminous

    Hmm. Can’t say whether or not this landlord is deliberately trying to stir up controversy to get some free publicity for the new restaurant more likely to help business than hurt, but it certainly served that purpose, intended or not.

    Saturday, Aug 5 @ 1:19 pm
  • Michael

    Men dressing as women. Sad that crap is coming to my hometown now .

    Saturday, Aug 5 @ 1:34 pm
  • Sean

    You just might be offending transfer people,picking on a drag queen show calling it a sex show is redicious it nothing more than a skit.

    Saturday, Aug 5 @ 2:13 pm
  • Tom Cain

    The fun police strike again!

    Saturday, Aug 5 @ 2:35 pm
  • BJ

    Thank you to the owner of this property for taking a stand on this kind of behavior.
    If you want to see Drag Queens and other type of sick behavior GO ELSEWHERE.
    Thanks also to the city of Nags Head for not want this type of entertainment in your city.

    Saturday, Aug 5 @ 3:50 pm
  • Michelle

    Kudos to the owner, Rosemyr Corp, for trying to keep the OBX a family safe place to visit. I support their decision 100%. I most definitely do not want my children exposed to that while we are trying to have fun on vacation.

    Saturday, Aug 5 @ 4:10 pm
  • Cat lady

    This new adventure has been a dream comin.g into focus. Robert and Debra r the nicest people in business down here. Shame on the one person slamming them and she knows who she is. Outerbanks mall u r so biased and discriminating, sound like the u r stuck in the wrong time zone. Let it be, why not midget wrestling, lots of people r waiting for this event

    Saturday, Aug 5 @ 5:06 pm
  • TJ Nichols

    This is absurd! Drag queens are All About fun, and yes have an obvious campy sense of humor. Since when has that hurt anyone? If anything, this restriction says more about the social intolerance of the people behind it, than any wig or joke. its NOT about sexuality, it’s about having Fun, and laughing at ALL of our foibles! Jeez, lighten up and play a little!

    Saturday, Aug 5 @ 9:28 pm
  • Janis kuykendall

    Take this sort of thing somewhere else! I am sick of this! Not in my backyard! How about a clown show?

    Saturday, Aug 5 @ 10:42 pm
  • Virginia Moore

    Darn! I didn’t know this show was happening. I would have been there with bells on, and with my husband, and my daughter and my granddaughter.
    So if my daughter, and my granddaughter and I dress in men’s clothes and sing and dance, this would be considered “Adult Entertainment “?
    This is ridiculous.
    When can I buy tickets to the next show?

    Sunday, Aug 6 @ 12:47 am
  • Steve Johnson

    Michael said ….”Men dressing as women. Sad that crap is coming to my hometown now”

    Not sure how long you have been living in YOUR hometown but womenless beauty pageants and drag performances have been here for many many years.

    Maybe you haven’t been here that long, but you always have the choice to not attend or simply move back to where you came from.

    Sunday, Aug 6 @ 11:58 am
  • Flora Razbora

    Do I need my boyfriend’s permission to sign him up for the next show? ????

    PS What are the height requirements for midget wrestling? If I can get him to take off my heels, I think he would qualify.

    Tuesday, Aug 8 @ 4:34 pm
  • Christina

    If you want that nonsense in Nags Head, that will make me think twice about making my parttime residence to full time. And Im not alone.
    Keep this garbage in the cities or Places like Miami.

    Tuesday, Aug 8 @ 10:04 pm
  • Really?

    Good luck on renewing that lease! Better start looking for another location. And where do theses ‘impersonators’ go to the bathroom? do they use the opposite bathroom just by impersonating? or how they identify? or by their actual biological sex? Can a person use the opposite restroom just by ‘impersonating’? If you are an impersonator then you’re really pretending so therefore you are still your biological sex, can’t have it both ways.

    Wednesday, Aug 9 @ 8:12 am
  • Really?

    @cat lady you are also stuck in the past, while you point the finger, keep in mind little people are not called midgets anymore. Hypocrite!

    Wednesday, Aug 9 @ 8:16 am
  • dave

    Why is this private matter spilling into the media? Is this some sort of creative advertising? We have a methadone clinic going up in the heart of Nags Head and there’s virtually no word on that.

    Wednesday, Aug 9 @ 8:57 am
  • Steve Johnson

    Christina said …”If you want that nonsense in Nags Head, that will make me think twice about making my parttime residence to full time. And Im not alone.”

    If you are so close minded to this entertainment that you would choose not to have a 2nd residence in the same town that these performances take place, then it’s probably best that you stay where you are.

    Once again, these types of entertainment such as drag bingo, womenless beauty pageants etc..have been going on for years in your 2nd home town of Nags Head. If this is your first time hearing about it, then you’re probably on the (Not in my back yard) little bandwagon.

    On a side note, I LOVE when people who do not live here threaten to boycott moving here because of the way WE act or the way WE do something that doesn’t conform with YOUR values.

    Thursday, Aug 10 @ 10:12 am
  • Steve Johnson

    BJ said…”If you want to see Drag Queens and other type of sick behavior GO ELSEWHERE.
    Thanks also to the city of Nags Head for not want this type of entertainment in your city.”

    LOL BJ, what makes you think the Town of Nags Head does not want this type of entertainment? This type of entertainment has been going on for years in Nags Head and they do not, nor have they ever had a problem with it.

    Take your head out of the sand and enjoy life

    Thursday, Aug 10 @ 10:18 am
  • Erin

    I think it’s awesome that JJ Brewbakers is shaking it up and having different kinds of entertainment. Plain and simple, if you don’t like what is going on there, just don’t go there. Quit complaining behind the keyboard, shut your mouth and go find somewhere else to hang out. And thank you transplants for staying where you are if you are that close minded.

    Thursday, Aug 10 @ 9:06 pm
  • JackJackson

    The backlash is idiotic. I can’t wait to buy tickets to their next event. Sounds fun!

    Sunday, Aug 13 @ 8:46 am
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