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

Location: 1601 Oregon Street, Oshkosh WI


April 2010
June 2013

Male/ Female
Bar/ social



The bar "PJ's" at 1601 Oregon Street in Oshkosh first appeared in the Bar Guide of Quest magazine vol. 17-issue 6 in April 2010. An early listing on Facebook read "We are a new bar here in Oshkosh. We are a gay friendly bar. DJ every Fri and Sat starting at 10 pm".

A 2013 photo in Quest (vol. 20-03, which incorporated the merged periodical 'OutBound News' vol. 12-03) listed named owners as Steve, Royal and John.

But very little else is known about the bar as we have found no advertisements and few other mentions of the bar or its activites in LGBTQ media. The only mentions we have found thus far are shown to right.

We are aware of an attack on a patron that occurred outside the bar in 2011. (See articles below.)

The final time the bar was listed in Quest magazine's Bar Guide was in June 2013 (vol. 20-06). More information about this business is welcomed from anyone who can contribute it.


We include here information from two articles regarding the assault outside the bar in 2012. The first explains the initial charges but does not name the victim. The second article is linked but not reproduced here; it names the victim and outlines his death six years later.

Two arrested for brutal attack on gay man outside bar in Oshkosh (January 08, 2012, Wisconsin Gazette website)

    Two men are being held at Winnebago County Jail on charges that they brutally beat a gay man outside PJ's, 1601 Oregon St., in Oshkosh early Christmas morning.

    According to a criminal complaint cited in reports by local media, Lyall Ziebell, 20, and Jake Immel-Rhode, 20, met the victim outside the bar when he asked them for a cigarette in exchange for buying them a shot.

    After having the drink, the three returned outside to smoke and Ziebell punched the victim in the face, according to the complaint. Immel-Rhode began kicking his head while shouting anti-gay slurs.

    Ziebell told police he is "very homophobic" and attacked the victim for making a pass at him, according to the complaint. He also said he and Immel-Rhode stole cash and pre-paid cell phones from a market on their way to Ziebell's home.

    The victim told responding officers that he was attacked "because I'm gay."

    The victim suffered a broken jaw and a brain injury that required emergency surgery. He was reportedly in intensive care for two weeks.

    James Combs, a friend of the victim, has started a petition to bring attention to the crime and to call on Winnebago County Assistant District Attorney Adam Levine and state Rep. Jessica King to ensure that "every effort to bring justice to this situation is being made," including pursuing hate crime charges.

    "We really need to draw attention to this kind of thing," Combs told WiG. "People have not really grown accustomed to gay people, and there is still violence and horrible things happening."

    Combs said friends might start a fund to help the victim pay for medical costs.

    According to reports, Ziebell is due back in court Jan. 12 for an arraignment. Immel-Rhode has pleaded not guilty. If convicted on all charges, the suspects face more than 23 years in prison.

Gay man once beaten at Oshkosh bar found dead in Madison (March 30, 2017, WeAreGreenBay.com website, Nexstar Media)

    (The article indicates that 46-year-old Andrew Nesbitt, who was beaten outside PJ's in Oshkosh in 2011 because he was gay, was found stabbed to death inside his apartment in Madison. Police arrested 23 year-old Darrick Anderson as a suspect in the murder. According to a friend, after the 2011 attack Nesbitt had needed emergency surgery to relieve the swelling in his brain and suffered from many broken bones. He and the friend had wanted his story to be told and did safety trainings after the incident.)


Photo: Building
(Google map image, October 2013)

Photos: Building look near opening
(Quest vol. 18-06, April 2011)

Column 'Diversion of the Day', PJ's welcomes
Mr. Wisconsin Unlimited 2011 Mirage Cruz
(Quest vol. 18-11, July 2011)

Photo: performer Easton Boyd
(from his Facebook page)

Photos: Bartender David and
the three owners, Steve, Royal and John
(Quest vol. 20-03, Jan. 2012)

Ad: Miss Rainbow Valley Resort featuring
Windy Breeze, Miss PJ's 2013, and
Ace, Mr. PJ's 2013
(Quest vol. 20-05, May 2013)

Credits: web site concept, contents, design and arrangement by Don Schwamb.
Last updated: June-2023.

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