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

Location: 819 S. 2nd Street, Milwaukee WI


July 1976
Late 1976?

Male/ female



The Hideaway bar was advertised in August 1976. The same tall and narrow graphic ad (shown to the right) appeared both in the August 1976 issue of the "GPU News", as well as the first issue of the "GLIB Guide" in the same month.

That first/ August 1976 issue of the local "GLIB Guide" describes the business as follows: "Two young guys, Mike and George, host cozy male rumpus room." The "Summer Brings New Bars" column in that same issue goes on to say that "Across the street from the Black Forest (bar and restaurant), the bar that was formerly the Descision (sp) was reopened by two young owners and renamed the Hideaway."

But after August 1976 we have not located a single mention of the Hideaway or any other business in the location-- until the opening of the Mint II there in 1986. So it may have been open only a few months. (Likewise for "The Decision" bar, for which we have found no ads or information other than an occasional vague mention.)

This location has been host to a long tradition of LGBT establishments. The first was apparently "Friendly's Bar" (1944-1947). It was operating as 'The Hustler' in the early 1970s, which may also have been somewhat gay friendly (additional research is needed). Its run as indisputable LGBT establishments really began when it became 'The Decision' in 1976. Next it was Hideaway (1976-c1976?), after which its occupancy was uncertain for a few years. But its string of housing LGBT businesses resumed with the relocated Mint Bar II/ Angelo's (1986-1991), followed by BJ's Mint Bar (1991-1993), Zippers (1993-1998), and finally Fluid in 1998-- which is still open in 2022.

More information about this business is welcomed from anyone who can contribute it.


GPU News, August 1976

Credits: web site concept, design and arrangement by Don Schwamb.
Last updated: August-2022.

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