A small independent Miami restaurant that became the target of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis for regularly hosting drag shows settled the case brought by the state without the investigators finding the restaurant did anything wrong, the Miami Herald reports.
The owners of R House restaurant in Miami became a target of DeSantis in January after a video circulated online showing a drag performer at the restaurant walking a toddler around the stage at the parents’ request to celebrate the child’s birthday. DeSantis used the video–which again, was simply a costumed performer walking a child around a makeshift stage at a restaurant with the child’s parents’ encouragement–as an example of transgender people grooming children, and threatened to use his power to punish the establishment, saying he would pull its liquor license, a move he acknowledged would “basically” put the independent locally-owned restaurant out of business.
The restaurant owners will pay a $10,000 fine for administrative issues, but the state agency that investigated the incident failed to find the restaurant did anything against the law. “We are very happy that the settlement contains no admission or finding of guilt for R House,” the restaurant’s owners said in the statement. “Furthermore, we are also pleased to confirm that the State’s extensive undercover investigation of R House found no unlawful sexually explicit content at R House shows.”
The restaurant previously did not have an age requirement for the shows, which were not geared toward children, but the owners practiced the traditional conservative value of allowing parents who “felt they were uniquely qualified to evaluate what was appropriate entertainment for their children and brought their family to our shows” to bring their offspring to the shows. Since the incident went viral, the restaurant now only allows people over 18 to attend.