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

Location: 300 W. Juneau Avenue


early 1984
approx. June 1984

Bar/ social



Unicorn was a short-lived bar: opening in February 1984 with its Grand Opening in March, by September it had closed, at least as a gay bar. It is believed the name was carried over to a straight bar that then occupied the space. (The Unicorn itself was preceeded by another short-lived gay bar in the same space. The Goldenshaft, open for just a few months, was bought out by one of the owners, Gus-- and he then reopened it as the Unicorn.)

(An article from "OnMilwaukee.com" dated November 2005 recalls "Milwaukee's Best Bars of Yesteryear", which includes The Unicorn bar. It reads: "Remember the dingy cave in the basement of the Sidney-HiH building? The Unicorn opened in 1984 and became Milwaukee's premiere underground venue as the '90s dawned. The dank club -- with numerous rooms -- offered incredible underground shows, including Nine Inch Nails before they got famous (anyone else at this show?) and Brand New Heavies.")

In 1997, the space took on a second life in the gay community, as the Milwaukee Eagle, a levi/ leather bar. That bar had a better go of it, wildly popular for over two years.

More information about The Unicorn is welcomed from anyone who can contribute it.

Grand Opening photos, March 1984
owner Gus; Y.P. staffers Ron & Al, the Astor Boys
(InStep vol 1 issue 3)

Advertisement, March 1984
Wet jockey shorts contest, leather male dancers

Photo of bartender Paul, May 1984
(InStep vol 1 issue 7)


Blurb of former Goldenshaft under new ownership, Feb. 1984
(InStep vol 1 issue 1)

Advertisment, Feb. 1984
(InStep vol 1 issue 2)

Drink/ Membership card

Closed, mid-1984
(InStep vol 1 issue 12)

Credits: contents, design and arrangement by Don Schwamb.
Last updated: May-2009.