Hot Legs Video Nite Club opened in October or November 1984 by co-owners Kathy and Karen, in the site of the old Shadows bar. For a time Hot Legs was THE lesbian bar in Milwaukee. The bar hosted a softball team in the SSBL/ Saturday Softball League, held shows and parties, as well as contests such as a Women's Wet T-shirt Contest.
The bar also was one of the hosts of 'MAPFest 1986' providing the central anchor of the event, a fundraiser for MAP, the Milwaukee AIDS Project.
On a high note, the Hot Legs softball team was one of two teams representing Milwaukee in the Gay World Series in 1987. Although they narrowly lost two games there, at home again they did win the SSBL trophy for Women's Playoff Champion.
About the time the softball team arrived back home from the Gay World Series however, the bar had closed and the building was advertised as being available for lease. Speculation at the time was that competition from two other lesbian bars, Fannie's (which had long been open) and Gay Street Station (which opened in July 1986) had taken away many of the women who had been Hot Legs customers.
After Hot Legs closed, the building's owner (Matthew Gorden) reopened the bar as Shadows II- The Top Shelf- heralding an attempt to recapture the old Shadows crowd.)
Other LGBT businesses in this location include:
Read a summary of the history of these 8 businesses and their effect on Milwaukee LGBT nitelife written by Project Curator Michail Takach at the Black Forest Legacy page.
Credits: web site concept, contents, design and arrangement by Don Schwamb.
Last updated: March-2023.
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