EDJ Interview With Gary Motes of Hamburger Mary'sNovember 23, 2012 12 comments Print Article
EatDrinkJax.com brings our readers another great interview with the owner of one of Jax's more interesting chain restaurants---Hamburger Mary's. Gary Motes shares his vision and dreams for the future with the performance based eatery after the jump!
Tell us about Hamburger Mary's.
Hamburger Mary's was originally an open air bar and grill, founded in 1972 in San Francisco. In those days there was a lot of discrimination against gays and lesbians. Hamburger Mary's welcomed them, figuring money is money, business is business. A lot of people in the gay and lesbian community know that if there's a Hamburger Mary's in their city then it's a place they can feel comfortable at without worrying about being mistreated. There are 12 in America now. We're number 12 and there's a 13th opening by the middle of next year.
The Hamburger Mary's in Jacksonville is owned by me, my brother Larry and my sister Debbie, along with her husband, Randy. We opened on May 1, 2012.
What's the overall concept of Hamburger Mary's?
The overall concept is to come in to unite cities. It normally takes about a year but in Jacksonville it's been immediate. Our audience is about 50/50 straight vs gay and lesbian. It's an opportunity for families to come in, have a great meal, and see a really fun show. Our show is always family oriented. We have lots of families who come in with everyone from kids through grandparents. There's no cursing or anything risqué. We do a late show at 11:30 pm on Friday and Saturday. We warn people that these will be more adult oriented, but if there are any children in attendance we tone it right down and make it PG.
When did the drag revue become a part of the restaurant?
I'm not sure exactly when it started, it just became an opportunity for the straight community to have a chance to see a revue without having to go to a bar or club - places most families can't go to.