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

 
Pirate's Den
a.k.a. Marie's Get Involved Lounge
Location: 1801 N. 12th St. (northwest corner 12th & Vine)

Opened:
Closed:

1965
1972
Clientele:

Male
Bar/ social

 

 
       
 

Previously known as The Forum Bar, Pirate's Den was on the northwest corner of 12th & Vine Streets in Milwaukee. Contributors remember it as a crowded bar that was lots of fun, definitely a "gay bar". Out-of-towners found it by going north on 12th from Jesu Church. Locals often called it "12th and Vine" so outsiders wouldn’t know what they were talking about.

The bar was first listed in various national Gay Guides in 1963-1965 as The Forum, but beginning in 1966 most listings show it variously as "Pirate's Den, formerly The Forum". It is unclear whether this was simply a change of name, or also a change of ownership. (Norman J. Komassa was listed as owner of the Forum in a mid-1960's City Directory.)

This building/ location was host for at least three LGBT bars we know of:

  • Forum (early 1960s-1965)
  • Pirate's Den (1965-1971)
  • Marie's Get Involved Lounge (1971-1972)

Note that although national Gay Guides continued to list the bar as "Pirate's Den, formerly The Forum" as late as 1973, in local LGBT publication "GPU News", the bar was advertised as "Marie's Get Involved Lounge" from December 1971 through April 1972. (All ads included the words "Hot Tamales" and "Black-White Bar".) After April 1972, it is no longer referred to in any local publications.

More information about any of these businesses is welcomed from anyone who can contribute it.


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

1963, Lavendar Baedeker
  History of the Baedeker Guides   Index
Notes: Listed as "Forum"
1964, "Directory 43"
  Title Page   Introduction
Notes: Listed as "Forum"
1964 Guild Guide
  Title pg   Editors note   Note concl
Notes: Listed as "Forum"
1964 Lavender Baedeker Guide
  History of Baedeker Guides
Notes: Listed as "Forum"
1965 International Guild Guide
  Title pg   Editor's note   Codes
Notes: Listed as "Forum"
1966 Bob Damron's Address Book
    Publisher note
Notes: Now listed as "Pirate's Den"
1966 International Guild Guide
    Title pg   Editors note
Notes: Listed as "Forum"
1966 Lavender Baedeker Guide
    Back page
Notes: Listed as "Forum"
1966 Male World Guide
    Index, excerpt
Notes: Listed as "Forum"
1967 International Guild Guide
    Title pg
Notes: Listed as "Pirate's Den, formerly Forum"
1968 Bob Damron's Address Book
    Title pg   Editors note   Codes
Notes: Listed as "Pirate's Den"
1969 International Guild Guide
    Title pg   Editors note   Codes
Notes: Listed as "Pirate's Den, formerly Forum"
1970 International Guild Guide
    Title pg   Editors note   Codes
Notes: Listed as Pirate's Den, formerly The Forum; "Rough Neighborhood"
1973 Guild Guide
    Title pg   Editors note   Codes
Notes: Listed as Pirate's Den, formerly The Forum; "Rough Neighborhood"
 


The building c2015
(Courtesy Michail Takach)


Advertisement, Dec. 1971
(GPU News- Dec. 1971, p7)


Advertisement, April 1972
(GPU News- Apr. 1972, p13)

Credits: web site concept, design and format by Don Schwamb.
Information contributed by "Mark"
and especially by KKK.
Last updated: March-2016.

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