History of Gay and Lesbian Life in Milwaukee, Wisconsin - Organizations - Business




Coalition of gay business owners


The Business Association of Milwaukee was formed by several bar owners, and was primarily a vehicle to coordinate purchasing of such common bar operation supplies as napkins, bar stools, bar fixtures, etc. at more favorable prices (by purchasing in bulk). BAM came to have a social side as well, and began to organize bar crawls to Madison and Chicago, among other events.

Among the principal figures in BAM were Bob Schmidt (of the M&M Club), Chuck Cicirello (of the Factory) (also known as Chuck Balistreri), Wayne Bernhagen (of the Wreck Room), and Paul DeMarco (of the Club Baths). (See a list of business members of BAM in October 1980 image to right.)

Any additional information about this organization is most welcome.

Ad for BAM bar crawl to Chicago
(GPU News, July 1980: page 28)
BAM (Business Assoc. of Milw)
Bar Crawl to Madison, August 1980
Zoom in on photo of:
Wayne Bernhagen & lover Mac
Chuck Balistreri (aka Chuck Cicirello)
(from Milw. Calendar, vol. 3 no. 16)
Photos of BAM Bar Crawl to Chicago,
April 1984: photos include
Wayne Bernhagen, Chuck Cicerello,
Bob Schmidt, and Debi Vance
(In Step, vol. 1 no. 5)
Steppin' Out, brief account of BAM Bar Crawl, April 1984
(In Step, vol. 1 no. 5)

Advertisement for BAM
(GPU News, October 1980)

BAM Bar Crawl, Dec. 1980
(Gay Milwaukee, vol. 4 no. 1)

BAM bar crawl, Jan. 1981
(Gay Milwaukee, vol. 4 no. 2)

BAM bar crawl to Chicago, Feb. 1981:
Chuck Balistreri (owner of Factory) and
Wayne Bernhagen (owner of Wreck Room and Your Place)
View photo
(Gay Milwaukee, vol. 4 no. 4)

Roast of Chuck Balistreri
(the "Chuck Roast"), April 1981
benefiting GPU building fund
(Gay Milwaukee, vol. 4 no. 6)

Photos from Roast of Chuck Balistreri
(the "Chuck Roast"), April 1981
(Gay Milwaukee, vol. 4 no. 6)

Credits: website concept, design and arrangement by Don Schwamb.
Last updated: March-2022.

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