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

Sugar Shack
Location: 135 E. National Avenue


June 1976
approx. 1985

Bar/ social


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The Sugar Shack was opened in June, 1976 by JoAnn Kilsdonk, with business partner Sharon Dixon (who later opened Fannies). Advertisements for The Sugar Shack (which first appeared in the July 1976 issue of the GPU News) advertised it as "A bar by and for women".

Cory Scott, the son of the owner, recalls working there as a boy, and attending Brewers games tailgate parties co-sponsored by Sugar Shack and The M&M Club (which opened within weeks of Sugar Shack).

The August 1976 issue of the local "GLIB Guide" describes the business as follows: "Women, women, women! And lots of room to mingle. By and for gay women."

The Sugar Shack was sold around 1985 to Dotie, who for a time reopened it as a lesbian bar named D.K.'s Tavern. But that was not to be; the business was sold once more in late 1987 to Al Thomas, who eventually reopened it as a men's gay bar, The Triangle, which was to survive at least 20 years.

Gay Business Guide,
August 1976, pg. 17

GPU News, July 1976

Milwaukee Calendar, Sept-Oct. 1978

Advertisement, c1978

Advertisement, for Series III players (1979)

Credits: thanks to the son of the bar's owner, Cory Scott, for information;
contents, design and arrangement by Don Schwamb.
Last updated: December-2006.