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

The TAZZbah Bar & Grille
Location: 1712 W. Pierce


December 2004
August 2007

Male/ female
Bar/ restaurant


The Tazzbah bar opened in December 2004. The primary owner was Steve, who had previously been a popular bartender at the Boot Camp Saloon.

Prior to their Grand Opening party in January 2005, the bar's web site had a “What is TAZZbah?” contest, asking people to guess what the bar's name stood for. COntest entrants later got this reply: "The correct answer is... Well, there really is no word “Tazzbah”. The word is a combination of the name of one of our pets (‘Taz) and Casbah (as in 'Rock the Casbah'.". The email was signed "The Tazzboys: Steve, Don, Tobin, Ed, Craig, and Jan".

The bar made every attempt to be a success. The main/ front bar was a gorgeus scene: wood paneled, plants everywhere, with large windows admitting sun from the street. A beautiful terraced deck in back of the bar was a relaxing place to sit with a drink. The bar's Bloody Mary's were works of art, a meal by itself: celery, pickle, olives, beef jerkey stick, and a huge cajun-seasoned shrimp.

The bar hosted leather nights for men about once a month on Friday nights, and at first attracted a good crowd for those. Within a few months of opening, they opened their kitchen, serving excellent wraps, burgers and other sandwiches, and Friday fish frys. After about a year they also started Sunday brunch food service, first with a buffet and later with menu service only, inheriting much of the Sunday brunch traffic that had been held by the M&M Club prior to that bar's close in May 2006.

But the one negative the bar couldn't overcome was its location. It was several miles from any other gay bar, a detriment to any bar that hopes to be on the "bar hop" agenda of the sometimes fickle gay crowd. This made it a hit-or-miss destination, which to many meant bypassing it in planning for fear it would be empty when they arrived. By spring 2007 some food service was cancelled, and in July rumors of its closing were confirmed: the bar closed at the end of August 2007.

Front of bar, August 2007
Back end of bar showing patio, August 2007
Front bar area
Front bar area
Dining area in back of bar

Opening Teaser

Opening Teaser

Grand Opening Notice

Tazzbah website, Nov. 2005

Credits: contents, design and arrangement by Don Schwamb.
Last updated: October-2015.