The Milwaukie Journey Sentinel announced today that RDR legend Trixie Mattel is now the co-owner of Milwaukie’s legendary This Is It! bar.
Located at 418 E. Wells St., This Is It! was the first LGBTQ+ bar that Brian Firkus — the Silver Cliff native who developed his Mattel drag character in Milwaukee — visited after turning 21. And it’s the longest-running LGBTQ+ bar in Wisconsin, and one of the oldest in the country. U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin recognized founders June Brehm and her son Joseph for their contributions to Wisconsin’s LGBTQ+ community, and the bar became the site of the Wisconsin LGBTQ History Project’s first permanent public display in 2019.
“A lot of drag queens (in Milwaukee) made This Is It! our happy hour moment before we had to put on the wig and go do the drag show,” Mattel told the Journal Sentinel over Zoom from her home in Los Angeles. “My relationship is such that sometimes I will come from General Mitchell (Milwaukee’s airport) to the bar with my bags. … It really is like the Cheers in Milwaukee. I met some of my lifelong best friends there.”
Now Mattel is the co-owner of the 53-year-old bar and plans to use her celebrity and business savvy to help make This Is It! a “destination,” half-joking that she wants it to become Milwaukee’s “new Bronze Fonz.”
“It will elevate the bar’s recognition on a larger scale, and even for people here locally,” said George Schneider, This Is It!’s longtime owner and now Mattel’s business partner. “Trixie has roots here in Wisconsin, and made good on all of her talent and ability, and still recognizes the value not just of her hometown, but the places she holds close that are also near and dear to their hearts.”
There’s more to the story here, but it keeps disappearing behind a paywall, so you’re on your own if want to read it…