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

1101 West
Location: 1101 W. Wisconsin Avenue


November 1981
late 1987

Male/ female
Bar/ social


View the Images page.


1101 West was for many years Appleton's most popular gay/ lesbian bar, and for a time its only bar. But you could never tell from its activities: they always acted as though they had healthy competition, keeping patrons coming back with a continual flow of specials, parties, shows, guests, etc.

1101 West was both a popular dance bar, and also hosted many shows. Among many other shows, they hosted annual Mr. and Miss 1101 West shows, and the first two Wisconsin King of Kings and Queen of Queens pageants.

Owners Andy Lehman and Ed Smith were very popular and friendly to both residents and visitors from out of town. Living above the bar, they also occasionally hosted visitors who wanted to stay the night to get better acquainted.

After about 7 years in business, competition from the recently opened Pivot Club took its toll, and 1101 West closed.

Ed, co-owner of 1101 West
(In Step vol 1 issue 10- June 1984)
Andy, co-owner of 1101 West
(In Step vol 1 issue 10- June 1984)

View of front of building,
March 2005

View of profile of building,
March 2005

Matchbook cover:
(courtesy Paul Jacob and NE Wis. LGBT History project)

Credits: bar history by Don Schwamb.
Last updated: August-2010.