Wisconsin’s Oldest Gay Bar, Now Co-Owned by Trixie Mattel

Unfortunately the COVID-19 pandemic has forced countless establishments around the nation to close their doors, including many queer spaces. However, well-known drag queen Trixie Mattel took action to make sure Milwaukee’s “This Is It!” would be having none of… well, it. Mattel – a Wisconsin native and winner of the RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars Season 3 – bought into This Is It!, joining forces with longtime bar owner George Schneider.

While This Is It! is a big part of Mattel’s present and will no doubtedly be a big part of her future, the popular gay bar that opened in 1968 was also a vital part of her past. Mattel – or Brian Firkus when not in drag – said This Is It! was the first gay bar she ever visited after turning 21. “A lot of drag queens (in Milwaukee) made This Is It! our happy hour moments before we had to put on the wig and go do the drag show,” Mattel told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “It really is like the Cheers in Milwaukee. I met some of my lifelong best friends there.”

Trixie currently lives in Los Angeles, but bought a place in Milwaukee recently. She also bought a house for her mother, who continues to live in Wisconsin. The famed queen of drag showed a vested interest in the bar prior to her buying into the establishment. “I’ve gone to every bar on the planet, and it’s really honed some of my keen senses of what works and doesn’t work in a nightlife environment,” she said. “Even before I was officially with This Is It!, George (Schneider) and I had a lot of conversations about things to try, things I saw work at other bars halfway across the planet.”

Written by Alex

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