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Dueling lawsuits filed between drag venue, protesters

Jim Bowen
Public Domain

A restaurant in downtown Monroe and a group of protesters who picketed the restaurant’s drag shows have filed dueling lawsuits. It’s the latest flashpoint in a years-long conflict.

East Frank Superette and Kitchen began drawing protests in 2022. Protesters were upset that people under 18 who were accompanied by a parent were allowed into the restaurant’s drag shows.

As protests continued into 2023, the restaurant began posting ads on Facebook and Instagram with images of protesters holding photoshopped signs that promoted the restaurant’s drag shows and food specials.

Co-owner Robert Huffman says the ads weren’t meant to be serious.

"Really, it was just a joke, and apparently, they can't take one," Huffman said.

The protesters are now suing, saying the restaurant didn't have permission to use their images.

The restaurant this month filed a countersuit, accusing protesters of defamation by claiming staff were “grooming” and “sexualizing children.” Both lawsuits seek a trial by jury and unspecified damages.