Florida governor files complaint against Miami restaurant for drag shows performed in front of children

Photo shows exterior of R House, the Miami restaurant under investigation by Florida officials for having children attend drag shows. (Courtesy: WSVN)

Florida officials started investigating a Miami restaurant this week after videos shared on social media showed children attending drag shows.

One of the videos showed a child holding hands with one of the performers, who was dressed in lingerie, at the R House during one of the drag brunch events. State officials said they believe the show was inappropriate for the children who were attending. The video can be viewed here.

Depending on the findings, R House's liquor license could be taken away.

During a Wednesday news conference in Tampa, Gov. Ron DeSantis said state officials filed the complaint against the restaurant the day before. The Department of Business and Professional Regulation sent agents to the business.

"They actually had agents going to this place and effectively just gathering information, getting intelligence, seeing what’s going on," he said. "And what they found was not only were there minors there — and these are sexually explicit drag shows — the bar had a children’s menu. And you think to yourself: ‘Give me a break, what’s going on?"

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R House is accused of violating state laws that focus on public nuisances, lewd activity, disorderly conduct, and indecent exposure.

"Having kids involved with this is wrong. That is not consistent with our law and policy in the state of Florida, and it is a disturbing trend in our society to try to sexualize these young people," DeSantis said. "I think parents, particularly at this time in society’s history, should be able to have their kids go to Kindergarten, watch cartoons, just be kids, without having some agenda shoved down their throats all the time,"

The complaint claims R House violated state public nuisance law by becoming "manifestly injurious to the morals or manners of the people." The department also cites a 1947 Florida Supreme Court decision that found that "men impersonating women" in the context of "suggestive and indecent" performances constitutes a public nuisance."

The complaint reads in part, "on or about July 3, 2022, a nearly nude dancer was filmed parading a young girl through the audience," according to USA Today. Investigators said they went to the business multiple times and observed children at the drag performances which states that "the sexualized nature of the Brunch performances is pervasive."

"Parents are the ones who have the necessity to raise their kids however they want," Alexis Fernandez told WSVN, adding that he knows the owners of R House and even performs there. "R House is only art performance."