The New Yorker Lounge is listed in just a single national 'Gay Bar Guide': the 1972 Damron guide, suggesting it was open about 1971 to 1972.
The only local reference identified thus far is from researcher Michail Takach, who discovered on NewsBank in Feb-2020 that "On January 16, 1967, 'The Fox Bar' owner (and former MPD officer) George Bemis received a condemnation notice and that building (Fox Bar) was soon demolished for the Plankinton Interchange. Bemis was involved in a number of vice bars in Milwaukee, including the New Yorker (605 N. 5th Street.,) until at least 1975."
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 the older black+white photograph was likely taken sometime in warm weather 1971. The other photos was taken late in 1986, as the building, more recently the site of the Lib Bookstore, was about to be torn down.
More information about this business is welcomed from anyone who can contribute it.
Credits: web site concept, contents, design and arrangement by Don Schwamb.
Photo and research courtesy of Michail Takach.
National gay guide research by Don Schwamb.
Last updated: January-2021.
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