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

Rascals Bar & Grill
Location: 702 E. Wisconsin Avenue, Appleton WI


November 1992
(still open 2009)

Male/ female
Bar/ social

View View Rascals' Web Site as it existed June 2006


Rascals Bar & Grill has been the Fox Valley's steady rock in gay/ lesbian bars from November 1992.

Previous to Rascals opening, Appleton's main GLBT bar for many years was 1101 West (c1980-88), and then Pivot Club took over the lead when it opened in 1986. When Rascals opened, it was the young upstart, its main advantage being location (Pivot Club was much larger, with large dance floor and stage- but Rascals was much closer to the downtown areas). But since the Pivot Club closed in 1995, Rascals has firmly held the lead (with only passing competion from Diversions (1997-1999) (outside Neenah), and for a brief time, Crossroads (2000-2007), a smaller mostly-lesbian bar, and Ravens (2007-2013).

In 2000, original partner Glenn Paschen sold out to co-owner Todd West, who has owned the bar ever since.

Although on Saturday nights some of the crowd will travel to Green Bay for the larger (and wider variety of) bars, on Friday nights Rascals rules! It attracts a good crowd early for fish fry (excellent cod and perch), and maintains the crowd into the late hours. Its grill makes for good eats most any time, with excellent burgers, fries, and sandwiches. It is also a good spot for Sunday afternoon relaxation and drinks on the patio, and during the season for Packer games.

Each Christmas season, Rascals goes all out to decorate. In 2006 for example, the entire bar was filled with white-flock tree branches and evergreen boughs, and lit with black lights, making relaxing with a drink feel like you're in the middle of a forest right after a snowfall. Great bar!

Am excellent article about the bar's history appeared in the June 22, 2016 'Post Crescent' newspaper, titled "Rascals has long been a gay refuge in Appleton".

The history of LGBT bars in Northeastern Wisconsin was the subject of an excellent article in the Green Bay Press Gazette in 2020.

Ad: "Coming Soon"
(In Step vol 9-21, October 1992)
Ad: Grand Opening
(In Step vol 9-23, Nov. 1992)
Steppin' Out column: Rascals opens
(In Step vol 9-25, Dec. 1992)
Ad: Two reasons (bars) to ring in New Year
(In Step vol 9-25, Dec. 1992)
Steppin' Out column: a visit to Rascals
(In Step vol 10-04, Feb. 1993)
Photo: Staffers Rob and Jess
(In Step vol 10-04, Feb. 1993)
Photos: bartender Robert,
owners Glenn & Todd in kitchen
(Quest vol 1-02, Feb. 1994)
Ad: New Years Eve, New Years Day
(Quest vol 1-24, Dec. 1994)
Ad: New happy hour,
Patio Party with local band The Receders
(Quest vol 2-17, Sept. 1995)
Photos: Rascals patio after
ROW (Rainbow Over Wis) picnic;
SIngsational performs
(Quest vol 3-17, Sept. 1996)
Ad: Rascals Crossword puzzle
(Quest vol 4-01, Feb. 1997)
Photos: Rascals Anniversary party
(Quest vol 4-21, Nov. 1997)
Ad: Karaoke Contest
(Quest vol 5-11, June 1998)


Bar interior, 2006
Bar interior, 2006
Stained glass windows, front wall, 2006
Patio bar, 2006
Bar interior, Christmas 2006
Bar interior, Christmas 2006
Bar interior, Christmas 2006

Photos from Facebook site, 2021
Photos from Facebook site, 2021

Early Advertisement
(Green Apple vol 1-03, Sept. 1993)

View of front of building,
March 2005

A Coaster from the bar, 2006

Matchbook, c1992

Credits: bar history by Don Schwamb.
Last updated: August-2023.

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