Inside Wabi-Sabi’s Monthly Drag Brunch
Deja Diamond and Victoria C. Snow shake their money makers at Wabi-Sabi.
I ventured out to Wabi-Sabi for one of their (in)famous Drag Brunches. The sushi/ tapas bar, located in historic Olde Town Petersburg, has been a major catalyst for the city’s fairly recent reinvestment in the downtown area.
Owner DJ Payne knows how to show people a good time which is why this place has become so popular in its quaint spot in the heart of the Tri-Cities.
While Wabi-Sabi has been open for about six years, but they’ve just recently opened up a second half upstairs dubbed “The Martini Bar.” This new addition has added an even more upscale feeling to the bar which serves dinner regularly.
After a long conversation with one of the bartenders, my friend and I overheard a couple talking about Wabi-Sabi’s Drag Brunch. I looked over at my friend with “googly” eyes suggested that we attend one of the shows. I saw this as both a chance to enjoy my city even more while checking something off my gay bucket list. I mean I’m gay, but I’d much rather be at a sports bar cheering for my favorite team than going to a drag show. It’s just a preference, not a diss. But enough back-story.
So this past Sunday, I dragged (see what I did there) the same friend out to the show. She’d been a few months ago, but neglected to inform me that I needed to have some singles to offer the lovely ladies for their performances. Unfortunately I don’t carry cash, so I made a deal to pay for one of her drinks in exchange for a few singles. She agreed and before long our MC for the afternoon Ms. Victoria C. Snow was out, in all of her glory, energizing the crowd for the performances ahead.
The host of brunch was the striking Millennium Snow and her guests were the divine divas, Kelly Branch, the radiant, Deja Diamond, and the tantalizing Magnolia Jackson Pickett Burnside.
These five ladies put on a show like no other for about three hours, of which I never got up; not even to use the restroom. It was just that entertaining! From the powerful, to the sexy, and the often comical, these ladies delivered better than any of us newbies could have imagined.
There was great crowd interaction as the ladies chose several people to pick on including “the skinny bitch,” the photographer (me), and the two straight men in the room. However, all were good sports, myself included, and who could blame us with copious amounts of $1 shooters floating around every five minutes or so.
For my first drag show, this has definitely opened my eyes to another side to the gay community. Admittedly I was a little nervous to venture out and experience such events in the past, however growing up and growing into myself has enabled me to see exactly what I was missing all along.
Wabi-Sabi hosts its monthly Drag Brunch the third Sunday of every month. The next brunch will be held on March 18 at 1 p.m. You must R.S.V.P. in advance by calling 804.862.1365. The restaurant’s website is www.eatwabisabi.com/.
Born and raised in Petersburg, VA, Anthony works as a State Farm Account Representative in Enterprise Rent-A-Car's Insurance Operations Department. In his spare time he can often be found wandering aimlessly, with camera in tow, snapping away. He's also a member of, the Richmond-based, Fools Day Comedy Troupe. Read his personal blog here and follow him on Twitter.
“If marriage became legal in Virginia, would you marry me?” Payne asked. Harrison responded “every day.”June 22, 2015
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