🔷 Drag brunch party set in Ocean County

🔷 Some critics try to spark ‘family values’ outrage

🔷 Strong support voiced by patrons online

TOMS RIVER — A restaurant that added a drag brunch party to its winter schedule found itself having to stand strong against online-stoked backlash.

Roxy’s Bar and Grille in Toms River began promoting the event last week, calling it “Pork roll, egg and queens.”

A local Facebook page whose pro-Trump administrator regularly criticizes Democrats, liberals and COVID vaccines then posted about the event, suggesting that children might attend even though the bar never mentioned children in its promotional material.

The page added that “a protest is scheduled to happen out front of the event.”

The post on Jersey Coast Emergency News prompted a spirited discussion on the forum, as well as on the eatery's Facebook page.

Roxy’s Bar and Grille in Toms River (Google Maps)
Roxy’s Bar and Grille in Toms River (Google Maps)

On Monday, the business addressed the online outrage.

“The event was not explicitly marketed as a family-friendly gathering. At Roxy's Bar & Grille, we believe in empowering families to make their own decisions about attending events with their children,” the restaurant said on its own Facebook page.

“It's important to note that negative remarks have been made by individuals who may not fully grasp the concept of this particular event. It is a Sunday brunch event where the choice to bring children is left to the discretion of the patron," Roxy's Bar and Grille added.

"We encourage open-mindedness and understanding, as well as a recognition that personal choices differ among our diverse clientele.”

Amid several comments from people saying they would never visit the business moving forward, there was also support.

“I think for any customer you lose [because] of this, you will gain 5,” one supporter wrote on the restaurant’s Facebook page on Monday.

Past NJ drag queen event targeted by right-wing influencer

Around the country, community drag events have become a culture-war hot button.

In 2022, the right-wing Libs of TikTok targeted a drag queens and doughnuts event in Montclair.

Other events, billed as “drag queen story hours” at libraries or public festivals around New Jersey over the past several years, also drew criticism.

In 2019, a Warren County library wound up canceling its event.

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