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

Oregon House
Location: 235 S. 2nd Street


July 1976?
circa 1979

Male/ female



Oregon House first advertised in the August 1976 issue of the GPU News, and the August 1976 issue of the local "GLIB Guide" describes the business as follows: "The first of the new bars, the Oregon House, opened on the growing gay bar block of south Second Street. The Oregon House features a lobby, and the entire bar is paved in shag carpeting. Recently a dance floor was opened, called the Loading Dock. It's no disco, but is interesting. The Oregon House may expand upstairs in the future." The Guide in the same issue sums it up: "If you like shag carpeting, paneling and tasteful decor. May expand upstairs in the future. New."

Although this business did appear in the 1978 issue of the Damron Guide, it does not appear to have survived much past mid-late 1977.

This space was later occupied by at least 4 other LGBT bars: the Phoenix (approx 1979-1993); the lesbian bar Deja-Vu (1993-1994); followed by the mixed lesbian/gay bar, 'Dish' (approx. 1998-2000) and then by a mostly lesbian bar, 'Ginger' (approx. 2008-2011).

More information about this business is welcomed from anyone who can contribute it.

Article and Photos
Gay Business Guide,
1977, pg. 15
Interior photo
(main bar)
Gay Business Guide, 1977
Interior photo
(dance floor)
Gay Business Guide, 1977

View of the building, late 2006
(corner location at far left)
View of the building, late 2006
View of the block, late 2006

Advertisement, August 1976
GPU News

Credits: contents, design and arrangement by Don Schwamb.
Last updated: July-2020.

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