This North Carolina Drag Brunch Has Raised Over $60k for Good
A restaurant, bar, and art gallery in Charlotte, N.C., has been hosting drag brunches since the early days of the pandemic. What first started out as a way to make some cash and help keep some drag performers employees now has become a community event collecting tens of thousands of dollars for local charities.
The Artisan’s Palate hosts a drag brunch once a month.
“It’s always been our mission to be more than just a restaurant and bar. We wanted to find a way to give back to the community, and these drag brunches are just such a fun, positive way to do something good,” Christa Csoka, owner and chef, told the Charlotte Observer.
The restaurant was closed for several months at the start of the pandemic but ended up redoing its outside seating area so people could safely go to the establishment and gather.
However, the club next door, Chasers, which had employed drag artists, couldn’t reopen as early as Artisan’s Palate could.
Csoka told the paper that she came up with the idea for the monthly drag brunch. During the initial brunches, the money went to the club and the queens, but after the pandemic became less severe, Csoka began looking for local nonprofit groups to donate to.
“Every month we pick a new charity to support, particularly those that help women, the arts, and the LGBTQ+ community,” Csoka explained. She said that the mission of her restaurant is inclusivity.
The restaurant has helped groups such as Families Forward Charlotte and Carolina Breast Friends.
“There’s a lot of hate going on in this world, which I just don’t understand,” Csoka said. “But here, it’s just a fun time. The queens make funny jokes throughout the shows. It’s entertaining and energetic, and it’s putting positivity out into the world. The queens really love that they’re doing something for good.”
The donations and a monthly theme make it unique for the drag brunch scene in the city.
For April, the theme is April Showers, and the drag queen performances will definitely be including “It’s Raining Men.” The brunch — which only admits those 18 and older — is scheduled for April 29.
“We make it very personal and go all out to decorate the space for the theme,” Csoka said told the Observer, adding that patrons can expect a lot of umbrellas around the restaurant.
Csoka adds, “Sometimes customers come dressed up for the theme … People want to have a good time, especially given the last year. These shows are just always entertaining with a cool vibe and cool energy.”