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Trixie Mattel steps in to help save historic LGBT+ bar from the pandemic

Maggie Baska February 4, 2021
Trixie Mattel in a doll's house

Trixie Mattel, skinny legend. (PH)

Legend, icon and Drag Race star Trixie Mattel is now the co-owner of Wisconsin’s oldest LGBT+ bar This Is It!

The All Stars 3 winner said she decided to step in to help save the historic venue after watching multiple LGBT+ bars in Los Angeles permanently close during the pandemic while others tried crowdfunding to stay afloat. So she put her money where her mouth is.

Mattel told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that she didn’t want to see This Is It! – the longest-running LGBT+ bar in Wisconsin – suffer the same fate. 

She said many drag queens in Milwaukee made the bar their “happy hour moment before we had to put on the wig and go do the drag show”.

“My relationship is such that sometimes I will come from General Mitchell [Milwaukee’s airport] to the bar with my bags,” she added.

“It really is like the Cheers in Milwaukee. I met some of my lifelong friends there.”

 

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A post shared by Trixie Mattel (@trixiemattel)

Trixie Mattel wants This Is It! to be an LGBT+ destination.

This Is It! opened in 1968. US senator Tammy Balwin once recognised the bars founder June Brehm and her son Joseph for their contributions to Wisconsin’s LGBT+ community. The bar was also the site of Wisconsin’s LGBTQ History Project’s first permanent public display in 2019.  

Mattel said she plans to use her celebrity status and business savvy to help make the venue a “destination”, joking that she wants it to become Milwaukee’s “new Bronze Fonz” – the tourist attraction depicting Henry Winkler as “The Fonz” from Happy Days.

George Schneider, longtime owner of This Is It! and now Mattel’s business partner, said the Drag Race winner’s star status will “elevate the bar’s recognition on a larger scale and even for the people here globally”. 

He said: “Trixie has roots here in Wisconsin and made good on all of her talent and ability and still recognises the value not just of her hometown, but the places she holds close that are also near and dear to their hearts.”

More: Drag Race, Drag race All Stars, LGBT bar, RuPaul's Drag Race, Trixie Mattel, Wisconsin

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