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

JC's Pub & Grill
Location: 628 N. Water Street, Milwaukee


March 2009
October 2009

Male/ female
Restaurant/ Bar



Opened by Jonathan Cervero, a popular server from Harry's Bar and Grill in Shorewood, the downtown pub didn't market itself as "gay," seeking to attract a mixed, more mainstream crowd. However, the bar's busiest nights were during LGBT events, such as MGGB, drag shows and fundraisers. Still, JC's never advertised in gay press and never really committed itself to the local LGBTQ community. In turn, the community never really committed to JC's.

The only mention we have been able to locate in LGBT media at the time is in the June 25-July 15, 2009 issue of 'Quest' magazine (vol. 16-#10). They mention that JC's Bar & Grill won 2nd place in the 'Best Float' category in the 2009 Milwaukee Pride Parade (see image to right).

The bar struggled to find its following, despite its prime location near Wisconsin and Water. By October 2009, Milwaukee Magazine noted the space was dark 7 nights a week and the phone was disconnected. (Note: at least six businesses have followed JC's in this space, none has lasted more than a year.)

Click here to see the article printed by 'OnMilwaukee' when the business first opened. More information about this business is welcomed from anyone who can contribute it.


Sign on entrance door

Mention of winning 2nd place for 2009 Pride Parade float

Credits: contents, design and arrangement by Don Schwamb.
Bar write-up and window image by Michail Takach;
Last updated: March-2021.

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