The oldest, continually operating gay bar in Milwaukee is now co-owned by drag superstar Trixie Mattel. She’s the alter ego of Brian Firkus who told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that he’d seen several gay bars in LA shuttered due to COVID, and he didn’t want This Is It! to meet the same fate.
Mattel wants to use her status as winner of RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 3 to make This Is It! a landmark destination for entertainment and gay history in Milwaukee. She will lend a hand to curating events alongside George Schneider who doubled the space of the bar after purchasing Louie’s Restaurant in 2018. Just over a year after the expansion, the COVID crisis closed the club for several months.
“In 2020, it’s been thrown in our faces that queer spaces can disappear like that,” Mattel told the Journal Sentinel. “And it really makes you think this is a really valuable service we are providing, not just to the community, but to humanity. People need this. They really do.”