A Portland Restaurant and Distillery Is Opening a Drive-Thru With Drag Performances

“I got a new song I call the pandemic pivot: ‘I hate this, I hate this, I hate this.’”

The under construction drag-thru (John Poteet)

While restaurants and bars are scrambling to downsize in accordance with the statewide freeze that takes effect tomorrow, one Portland restaurant is adding a new feature.

Tomorrow, Shine Distillery and Grill will open a "drag-thru": While customers wait for their takeout orders, they can watch drag performances from their cars. Eater first reported the news.

Drag queens Bolivia Carmichaels and Lulu Luscious will perform from Shine's garage-style doors. Shine already had a sound system, and has installed a makeshift, greenhouse tunnel along North Williams Avenue, where customers can idle in their cars while they watch the show and wait for their to-go orders. Since Shine operates more like a brewpub than a bar, it can remain open for takeout during the freeze, offering pub food, cocktail kits and bottles of housemade booze.

Owner Jon Poteet says the plan came together at the last minute—he and his staff only came up with the idea after Gov. Kate Brown announced the news last Thursday. Asked if he knows what Carmichaels' and Luscious' acts will involve, Poteet responds in the negative.

"The answer is no," he told WW. "Both of them have done a fair amount of nightclub drag. It's probably going to be half drag, half standup comedy."

Shine has booked Luscious for the next week. With the exception of tomorrow, when the drag-thru will start at 3 pm, shows will probably start around 5 or 6 pm. But beyond that, the drag-thru is essentially an open-ended experiment that's likely to evolve during and after its pilot week.

"I don't know if it's going to work," says Poteet.

Still, Poteet hopes Shine doesn't have to make any more drastic changes this year.

"I got a new song I call the pandemic pivot: 'I hate this, I hate this, I hate this,'" he says. "We're constantly having to reinvent ourselves."

Related: Shine Distillery Is Making Its Own Hand Cleaner in the Wake of Coronavirus

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