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

Loop Cafe
Location: 603 N. 5th Street


approx. 1964
approx. 1971

Male/ female
Restaurant/ Bar



The Loop Cafe is listed in several national 'Gay Bar Guides' from 1966 to 1971, suggesting it was open from about 1965 or earlier, to 1970 or 1971. No local references have yet been located.

The photo to the right is the only one known of both the site of the Loop Cafe (the first business on the left with the sign "FINE FOOD"), and the New Yorker gay bar (next door with the "Blatz" sign: 605 N. 5th St.). The large hotel beyond with the sign "Sheraton-Schroeder" was so-named from 1965-1971. It was bought in 1972 by the Marcus Corporation, and renamed the Marc Plaza. As of 2015, it is the Milwaukee Hilton.

The New Yorker, according to the site was only open in 1971, so this photograph was likely taken sometime in warm weather 1971.

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


Listings in early "Gay Guides":
(For more information on the Guides, click here.)

1966 Bob Damron's Address Book
    Publisher note
Notes: Code "C": Coffee, Food
1967 International Guild Guide
    Title pg
1968 Bob Damron's Address Book
    Title pg   Editors note   Codes
Notes: Code "C": Coffee, Food
1969 International Guild Guide
    Title pg   Editors note   Codes
Notes: Still popular/ YC, many underage/ mainly after bar spot
1970 Bob Damron's Address Book
Notes: YC, C/ after hours
1971 Bob Damron's Address Book
    Title pg   Codes
Notes: YC, C/ after hours

Loop Cafe is to the left with the "FINE FOOD" sign
(c1971; see notes in the text to the left)

Photo of the area from about 1971
(see notes in the text to the left)

Credits: contents, design and arrangement by Don Schwamb.
Narrative and Photo courtesy of Michail Takach.
National gay guide research by Don Schwamb.
Last updated: February-2016.