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

Seaway Inn
Location: 744 N. Jefferson St.
corner Jefferson and Wells



Bar/ social



The Seaway Inn is remembered as a popular gay bar. According to one contributor (Keith/ CCK), it was "a very cozy little bar and rather good restaurant on the corner of Jefferson and Wells, right across from the Pfister Hotel with a parking lot growing around it later on. The little bar was in the front corner in a separate room from the restaurant which made it very cozy, especially on a winter evening. It had a 'Friends' kind of feeling about it where conversations would stop when anyone stepped in and someone would usually (call your name) and motion you over to one of maybe only 20 stools in the place. It was woody and smokey, something we didn't mind in those days. The lights and the smell was just right."

The Seaway Inn was evicted from its Jefferson Street location in 1972, and relocated to S. 2nd street as the Seaway.

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


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!

      I think the owner, Otto Schuller, had always wanted to make a name for himself as one on Milwaukee "great" restaurateurs but never quite got there. I remember in the late 60's he had a wonderful little place between the Nitebeat and the Rooster on South 2nd St where everyone used to gather for breakfast following a night of dancing and drinking at the Castaways across the street. That was fun. Then as the years passed he had the Seaway Inn on Jefferson Street. Folks used to say, "Guys went to the Seaway to wait for someone to die at This Is It and open a bar stool". I was still at UWM, still well below 21, when I discovered the place. It was convenient to hop off the bus on the way home, visit the bar during Happy Hour, the busiest time, and then continue home. The crowd was older and very friendly and welcoming (especially to a guy under 21 and not horrible looking). Soon The Seaway became a regular spot for me and I loved it. Of all the bars in Milwaukee, Otto's Seaway will always hold a very special place in my heart.
                                                - Keith/ CCK. (2014)


Credits: contents, design and arrangement by Don Schwamb.
Seaway and Riviera research by Michail Takach.
Last updated: February-2015.