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

Location: 801 S. 2nd Street



Male/ female



Few people remember much about Niko's now. Some people remember it as a near South Side, blue-collar "roughneck" bar, or a punk bar; others remember a polka/ concertina bar; and then there are the people who think it was a Mexican restaurant.

Whatever it was (and most likely a gay 'punk' bar), Niko's didn't garner a fiercely loyal clientele, and by sometime in 1983 was on its last legs and about to close. It got the attention of another bar owner, George Prentice, who picked up the lease. George would remodel and reopen the bar as a new video and dance bar, La Cage-- which was to reinvent gay Milwaukee nightlife at 801 S. 2nd Street, and was to become a Milwaukee LGBT institution.


Recollections: The following are recollections of others who have been kind enough to submit their personal memories to the webmaster. You are welcome to do the same!

      Old punks like me remember it as a punk club. I saw a band from Madison there; they were called Hollywood Autopsy and it was quite the happening 1981/1982 type scene. Many of my friends also still remember it as a punk bar, which is what it really was.
                                                - N.C. (2014)


Ad for Niko's bar
(Escape, vol 5 issue 4/ Feb. 1982, page 30)
(Same ad ran in 3 consecutive issues)

'Steppin' Out' mention of upcoming opening
of new 'La Cage' bar in old Niko's space
(In Step volume 1 issue 1,Feb 9-Feb 22, 1984)

Credits: website concept and design by Don Schwamb.
Last updated: December-2014.