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

 
Going My Way?
a.k.a.
one eleven west
Location: 111 W. Main St., Madison

Opened:
Closed:

July 1, 1977
late 1982/ early 1983
Clientele:

Men's and Women's Bar/ dance club/ social

 

 
       
 

The first known mention of Going My Way? bar is in the GPU News, July 1977 issue: "The old Turtle Club has been remodeled and enlarged and will reopen on July 1 as Madison's "newsest and biggest" gay bar. The new facility will feature two separate bars, a restaurant and a dance floor. It will be called Going My Way?. (111 W. Main St.)

(Raises an interesting question though- the Turtle Club is otherwise unknown, we don't know if that was a gay bar or not.)

A poster announcing the Grand Opening (see below) says that the ground floor held a Men's bar and Men's (community or gathering) Center, the lower floor a Women's bar and Women's (community) Center, and the second floor a Mens and Womens Disco.

Going My Way appears to have changed ownership early in 1981, and at least for a time, went by another name: one eleven west. Advertising in April and May of 1982 mention remodeling and describe the bar as follows:

    "on eleven west is more than a location. Owners Mary Haugh and Char Arner, bar manager David Schoales, and the staff have completely remodeled Going My Way. There are three dance floors, place to quietly enjoy cocktails, a chic yet comfortable decor, and dj's every night to dazzle you with the latest music and best sound and light system in town. Help celebrate April 3-5, the first big weekend after reopening one eleven west- bringing new excitement to the Midwest!"

    "Come to Madison, WI! 3 Floors, each with bar and dancing (one, woman oriented). Best sound and light systems in Midwest. All new decor. 10,000 sq. ft. of excitement (the loft opens weekends), formerly "Going My Way".

However, in the February 26, 1982 issue of Escape, the bar is once again being advertised as Going My Way.

A contributor recalls that Going My Way closed sometime late in 1982 or early in 1983.

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

A poster for "Going My Way?" was put up for sale on eBay in July 2012. The listing read:

    "Original, vintage Poster for the Grand Opening of Going My Way, a New Gay Bar in Madison, Wisconsin, from 1977. The Old Turtle Club is remodeled and re-opens on July 1 as Going My Way, 111 W. Main, Madison's newest gay bar featuring three levels: the lower level a lesbian bar, the first floor a gay bar, piano bar, and restaurant, and the upstairs a disco. It closed in the summer of 1982. This poster was collected by a J.W. Miller, a 1960's and 70's activist who hung around the University of Wisconsin, Madison during this time. He travelled frequently, and was from Connecticut, and (the) flyers, posters, and handbills he collected numbered in the thousands. I was lucky to get a few in Connecticut from his estate, a few years back. He usually signed and dated the pieces on back, I guess as some kind of inventory for himself. He signed the back of this one. Poster measures ~ 12" x 18" and was folded in half horizontally."

 

Poster announcing the new bar, eBay, July 2012
 
Closeup of Poster text
 
Signature on back of poster
 
 


Announcement of Going My Way opening in
GPU News, July 1977


Advertisement for one eleven west in
Gay Milwaukee vol. 4 no. 6
/ April 3, 1981


Advertisement for one eleven west in
Gay Milwaukee vol. 4 no. 7
/ April 17, 1981


Photo of the owners of one eleven west in
Gay Milwaukee vol. 4 no. 8
/ May 1, 1981


Advertisement for Going My Way in
Escape vol. 5 no. 4
/ February 26, 1982

Credits: contents, design and arrangement by Don Schwamb.
Last updated: January-2014.