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

Kirby's Klub
Location: 121 West Main Street, Madison WI


October 1997
June 1999

Men/ Women


Kirby's Klub was opened by Kirby Sheldon in a space that might have given some second thoughts. The location had held two LGBT bars in less than 2 years: first "R Place" (May-December 1996) and then "Scandals" (March-October 1997).

Understandably though, the parents of the owner of the original gay bar on the site, R Place, were not keen on operating a 'gay' bar that their son had abandoned and left in their care (which they had tongue-in-cheek temporarily reopened 'Scandals'). And thus a notice appeared in October 1997 that owners Mike and Nancy handed over the keys to Kirby Sheldon and the place would be called Kirby's Klub.

In Quest issue 4-18, an advertisment appeared for the new bar called "Kirby's Klub", reading "Formerly Scandals" and then "Now under new ownership! Gay owned & operated". A listing in one issue reads "Just opened in what was Scandals building. Now gay owned & operated. Features backroom dance floor & fireplace". Later listings expanded the description as "Dancebar, Jukebox, Pool, Darts. Gay owned & operated. Features backroom dance floor, pool hall & sitting room with a fireplace".

After just under two years in business, Kirby's Klub closed suddenly in July 1999, and was reopened as "Millenium". But once again the business didn't last long-- by August it had reopened again as yet another bar, named Rainbow Room.

Kirby's Klub was thus the third in a long line of names for an LGBT bar in this location (121 W. Main Street, Madison) over a period of just 4 years:

Any additional information is available from anyone willing to contribute it.

Advertisement for Grand Opening Celebration
(Jerry Johnson/ Wis. Light collection)
Ad: "Formerly Scandals /
Now under new ownership!"/
Grand Opening week
(Quest vol.4-18, Oct. 1997)
Ad: New Year's Eve;
Every Tuesday Fetish Nite
Every Thursday 20's Night
(In Step vol.14-26, Dec. 1997)

Tribal Talk column: fundraiser for
Cass Marie to go to Nationals;
and listings in Daily Calendar
(In Step vol.15-08, April 1998)
Ad: Madison Pride Weekend listing
Madison's 5 LGBT bars at the time
(In Step vol.15-12, June 1998)
Keepin In Step column: mention of
hitting Madison's LGBT bars
after MAGIC picnic
(In Step vol.15-15, July 1998)

Notice of ownership change and new name
(In Step vol.14-22, Oct. 1997)


Advertisement for Grand Opening Celebration
(Jerry Johnson/ Wis. Light collection)


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Last updated: September, 2022.

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