History of Gay and Lesbian Life in Milwaukee, Wisconsin - Businesses - Bars and Clubs

DK's Tavern
Location: 135 E. National Ave.


June 1988

Male/ female
Bar/ social



D.K.'s Tavern in Milwaukee was owned by Dotie, located in the same building that since 1976 had been the site of the Sugar Shack, a very popular lesbian bar. For some years DK's held the title as Milwaukee's premier lesbian bar, with a very popular following. But business eventually began lagging, and in 1987 the business and building were put up for sale. On December 5, 1987, Dotie held a farewell party for customers and staff.

On the very next night, the bar re-opened, and new owner Alan Thomas (formerly a resident of Kenosha who had bought the business and moved up to Milwaukee) declared it was "still a women's bar" and would retain the same staff and name. But within a few months business had shown that a change was needed; Al renamed the business The Triangle in June 1988 and reopened as a primarily men's/ 'gay' bar. (IS SO 4-20)


Advertisement, February 1988

Credits: contents, design and arrangement by Don Schwamb.
Last updated: May-2021.

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