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:
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.
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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Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.