The last Hamburger Mary’s joint in Tampa Bay, staffed by local drag queens, has one final week of entertainment planned before it shuts down for good.
Hamburger Mary’s in Clearwater will in a matter of days cease to exist. According to a social media post shared by the joint, the Pinellas location of the drag queen-staffed burger joint will be closing after this weekend.
Hamburger Mary's Bar & Grille is a drag-themed burger restaurant chain that started in San Francisco, California, in 1972. The eateries are often in gayborhoods and are intended to represent stereotypical gay culture through humorously named menu items, flamboyant decor, and many of their locations hosting drag shows on weekends. "Mary" in the name is a reference to the slang descriptor "Mary" used for gay men as far back as the early 1900s.
The concept has since its establishment in 1972 expanded to locally owned, independent restaurants across the country, including Jacksonville, Fort Lauderdale, and Orlando.
The Clearwater restaurant situated at 28910 U.S. 19 N will be the last location in the Tampa Bay region. In 2018, the chain’s Ybor City location closed after the Florida Department of Health in Hillsborough County reported that a worker had tested positive for hepatitis A. The owner said the report was false. In 2019, St. Pete and Brandon locations also shuttered.
The Joint didn’t specify why the Clearwater location of the restaurant is closing. However, the announcement comes at a politically heated time, as Gov. Ron DeSantis and Republicans across the country have focused their attention on drag shows. In February, Florida moved to revoke the liquor license of The Plaza Live in Orlando following an all-ages drag queen show.
Fans of the joint reacted with comments showing their displeasure with the news: Jessica Zoubek said: “Hoping I can make it this weekend, about a month ago I went to my first show there, and I loved it! I’m beyond upset you all are closing!”
“We will miss you. We loved drag queen bingo!” Katye Novinski said.
Hamburger Mary’s fans still have a few opportunities to visit the joint. Wacky Wednesday Bingo is on for Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. Drag Trivia Thursday takes place the next night at 7:30 p.m. Superstar Saturday kicks off with a drag show at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday Brunch with the Divas runs from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
According to the Facebook post, Hamburger Mary’s Clearwater will share updates when it knows more information about where its performers are headed next.
“It’s so hard to say goodbye so instead we will say see you later. Let’s eat, drink and be Mary!!!” The post read.
Author’s Note: This article is solely for information purposes. The embedded links and information shared in the article are attributed to Facebook.com, hamburgermarys.com, en.wikipedia.com, and tampabay.com.
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