'Rainbow Room' in Madison was opened in October 1999 by "Ed, Terry and Jim". Rainbow Room was for several years an alternate stop in downtown Madison, as it was just a few steps away from the ever-popular Shamrock bar. (A Grand Opening advertisement even calls The Shamrock their "Sister Bar".)
Rainbow Room was to be the fifth, and most successful, 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:
The bar had several active years, with shows, pageants, and many parties. Stripper as well as drag shows were also popular draws. On Friday and Saturday nights there was a regular flow of people between Rainbow Room and Shamrock.
The bar's demise is unclear, pending further research. An article in Quest v10-08 in July 2003 mentions that "by the time you all read this the Rainbow Room will be closed". But a mention was then made in the column 'Tales from the Trailer' by Terry Halverson in the September 2003 issue of OutBound magazine that reads: "...I decided to check out the NEW RAINBOW ROOM... The bar was full. Matt & Bob were tending bar, and yes, (it was) both GAY and very hospitable..." From this, we speculate the bar may have changed ownership or perhaps even location around mid-2003. But we have located no advertisements or other information for this "new" Rainbow Room.
Any information about this business is welcomed from anyone who can contribute it.
Credits: web site concept, contents, design and arrangement by Don Schwamb.
Last updated: June-2022.
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