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

 
Walker's Point Cafe
Location: 1106 S. 1st Street

Opened:
Closed:

early 1986
June 26, 1998
Clientele:

Restaurant/ early meeting place

 

 
 

For some years, the Walker's Point Cafe was extremely popular after bar time, when many people, slightly tipsy, would converge and take in the atmosphere. It was opened by Michael Roberts (aka "Miss M.") where the Ski Glow Cafe had previously been for about 14 years. Miss M. closed the Cafe in May 1987, but it reopened in mid-June under new management, Roberto and Kimann, who pledged 24-hour service "no ifs, ands, or buts".

The business briefly (in 1991) advertised it as "Walkers Point Cabaret.. and Cafe".

George Kreuzer bought the business in September 1992, and owned and operated it until he closed it June 26th, 1998 (he moved to Portland Oregon shortly after).

Historian Michail Takach wrote the following about the Cafe's final months:

    January 24, 1998: Walker's Point Cafe (1106 S. 1st St.) celebrates a grand reopening as "Milwaukee's first cyberteria." New majority owner Dennis Hill sought to create an all-ages, all-day, alcohol-free internet cafe for a neighborhood that was only known for late nights. (Dennis Hill was originally from Philadelphia. It's unclear how he came to own the business in 1998, or what stake-- if any-- former Cafe owner George Kreuzer had at the time.)

    At a time when Kinko's charged $12/hr for dial-up access, Hill was offering free, unlimited, high-speed internet service. It's believed he installed the first CD jukebox in Milwaukee. He also provided web hosting services for other LGBTQ organizations, including the Wisconsin Light newspaper.

    "There are many coffee shops and cafes on the East Side where neighbors can go, read the paper, have great coffee and food, and chat with each other, but there's nowhere like that in Walker's Point," he said. "I want to offer an after work socializing opportunity for people who don't drink."

    Hill promised to remodel the menu and the interior in 1998. However, the "new" Walker's Point Cyberteria never really took off. Nobody was seeking an alcohol-free alternative, it seems. The cafe closed June 26, 1998.

Recollections: The following are recollections of others who have been kind enough to submit their personal memories to the webmaster. You are welcome to do the same! (Recollections collected and organized by Jamie Taylor.)

         --------   Jamie Taylor recalls:
    "Iím not sure if Iíve ever met Roberto or Kimann. I started going there when George was running the place. (George was kind of gross. He started losing customers when they came in and saw him pick his nose while preparing meat balls. No kidding, I saw it myself.) George was struggling with the business when Dennis Hill who was throwing his weight and money around town became partners with George. I donít think it was a legal partnership and it didnít last long anyway. They made a few minor changes to the place. Dennis Hill later spent time in prison for playing around with a 15 y/o boy.

    "During the cafťís hey day, lots of twinks (aged mostly 17 Ė early 20ís) patronized the place. It was a place where they could meet other gays their age. (You didnít need to be 21 to get in.) It was particularly busy around 7pm and then again at bar closing. Chris Hammerbeck and I used to go there to scope out the guys. We used to sneak in a little bottle of booze to mix with a soda we bought. We would have a couple there then hit the bars. Well the kids (as I called them due to my age) didnít spend a lot of money there. Mostly nursing a soda all night and that didnít help the cafťís bottom line. So, eventually the bills stacked up too high. George pretty much just walked away from the business not telling anyone. We just noticed it wasnít open anymore. We know he left town within days of closing.

    "Since then it sat empty for awhile but now houses a Nextel phone store."

         --------   George Kreuzer recalls:
    "Nice article about the cafe'! I owned it between Sept/1992 and June 26th, 1998. And I left Milwaukee July for Portland Oregon. There were many reasons why I left so quickly..... but none of it is important anymore...

    "Hmmm! you saw me picking my nose while I was making meat balls? lol... I can't remember... lol... I'm old and elderly now..."

George and the jukebox
circa 1994-95
(photo courtesy Jason S.) 

 
 


"Now Open" Ad, April 1986
In Step volume 3 issue 7


Advertisement, June 1986
In Step volume 3 issue 10


Advertisement for 'Cabaret', December 1991


Advertisement, Dec. 1993


building in 2005

Credits: Recollections collected and organized by Jamie Taylor
with contributions by Michail Takach and others.
Website concept, design and arrangement by Don Schwamb.
Last updated: August-2022.

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