Freddie’s Beach Bar Threatened with Bomb Scare

Freddie’s Beach Bar Threatened with Bomb Scare

Freddie Lutz, owner of Freddie’s Beach Bar & Restaurant with drag queen Tara Hoot who presented the first drag story hour performance April 6.

Freddie Lutz, owner of Freddie’s Beach Bar & Restaurant with drag queen Tara Hoot who presented the first drag story hour performance April 6.

    Upcoming story hour May 4 planned to create support for the gay community.

Freddie Lutz opened an email bomb threat just minutes before the children’s drag story hour performance was set to begin at Freddie’s Beach Bar & Restaurant on S. 23rd Street on April 6. The email also included a threat to his nearby house and his other restaurant at Rehoboth Beach. 

He quickly moved the full house crowd outside of Freddie’s to the outdoor space back of the restaurant and called the Arlington police. “They were wonderful. They came with a dog and swept the whole restaurant for a bomb.”

Lutz said in the 23 years that he has owned Freddie’s this has only happened once before back in the beginning. But he said Tara Hoot, who was the drag performer for the story hour, warned him it could happen based on past experience. 

Lutz said there were two protestors out in front of his business yelling things about going to hell. “I didn’t pay too much attention. But I thought ‘here are two Black people protesting a drag story hour, and Blacks have been persecuted for hundreds of years and there is no more marginalized group than yourself. And now you are doing this.’ I’m trying to wrap my head around it. How did we get to this point?”

Lutz says he thinks the political climate has given permission to people to come out of the woodwork and act like this. “They have always been there but they didn’t have the audacity.”

Lutz said parents often bring children to Freddie’s for the regular weekend drag brunch, and the first Saturday story hour was a sellout occasion with babies, many children and even a grandmother.                     

Lutz said the show was very entertaining with Tara Hoot handing out rainbows and twizzly things and singing cheerful songs. He says it was a nice event with soft lighting across the room dusting the tables with a pink glow. Bubbles floated through the air and burst as they were caught by tiny hands.

Tara Hoot, decked out in a blond wig styled in a flip, flapped her butterfly wings as she sang “sunshine, lollipops and rainbows are sure to come your way …”

Lutz says he has had an outpouring of love and support from the community in response to the protestors. Lutz grew up in the neighborhood just blocks from Freddie’s and has been involved in Arlington organizations and community activities for many years. The Arlington County Board released a statement April 9 affirming support of the LGBTQ+ community. The Board, like Freddie’s, “remains committed to ensuring Arlington remains a safe, welcoming and inclusive place for our LGBTQ+ community.”

Just a couple of days later Lutz received a third email, this one with a death threat. “It was a little unsettling. They are trying to scare us but I can’t allow that to happen.” He explains, “Apparently people heard we had the story hour and had a problem with that. It is a little misguided. The presentation is very innocent. I’m not trying to turn your children gay. I don’t think the protestors have even seen it.

“It is an unfortunate thing that has happened but we are going to have another drag story hour brunch event May 4 which I am hoping will create support for the gay community. We’ll give the profits to a good cause. I’m hoping to have a line down the block. I want to make something positive come out of this.”