Winter Garden restaurant drops burlesque shows after investigation

Main House Market Kombucha Bar investigated following reports of “nudity and lewdness”

Interior of the Main House Market Kombucha Bar in Winter Garden (Metropolitan Bureau of Investigation)

WINTER GARDEN, Fla. – A Winter Garden restaurant has decided against hosting burlesque shows following an investigation by law enforcement, according to the Metropolitan Bureau of Investigation.

An MBI case report shows that on Feb. 10, the bureau received a request by the Winter Garden Police Department to help investigate the Main House Market Kombucha Bar after officers received complaints of “nudity and lewdness.”

Agents said that there were reports of the restaurant hosting “acts which were sexual in nature,” including “drag shows and possible strip shows.”

According to MBI, agents conducted surveillance at the business on the afternoon of Feb. 16, noting that the venue was calm and had customers enjoying food and kombucha tea.

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However, investigators found that the restaurant hosted events like “Drag Queen Trivia,” stand-up comedy shows and a burlesque show called “Burlesque Love Scenes,” the case report shows.

Investigators said that the burlesque show was advertised as only for those aged 21 and over due to “mature content.”

During an undercover operation on the night of the burlesque shows, agents found that the dancers were stripping their clothes down to their underwear with “light interaction from the crowd,” the report says. Agents explained that no genitals were exposed during the show.

“The performers did dance within three feet of the audience, which included shaking breasts and buttocks close to the audience and lightly interacted with the audience by touching the audience member’s shoulders, having guests pull gloves off the performer’s hands with their teeth, and placing discarded clothing on guest’s heads and shoulders in a humorous/seductive fashion,” the report reads.

Promotion for "Burlesque Love Scenes" event (Metropolitan Bureau of Investigation)

Agents said they found violations of Article V, Chapter 3 of the Orange County Adult Entertainment Code, though the report doesn’t specify the violations found.

According to MBI, the restaurant’s owner was told about the violations, and he said the business would no longer host any future burlesque-style shows. The owner added that he would continue to host private events like “Drag Queen Bingo,” but those events would remain “tasteful” and not include the removal of clothing, agents said.

On March 19, the restaurant announced on social media that it is looking for a new location following the investigation.

“A week later, the City of Winter Garden handed us violations claiming we need a separate business tax license, different from the three that I currently have for the location, to conduct free events inside my business,” the post reads. “A violation that other businesses in the city have not recieved (sic) for doing their own free public events inside their location.”

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Anthony, a graduate of the University of Florida, joined in April 2022.