After a yearlong attempt at rebranding, longtime LGBTQ+ bar and nightclub La Cage
has returned to its roots and will officially relaunch next week.
The iconic Walker's Point establishment, located at 801 S. 2nd St., was briefly known as LVL, but recently brought back its original moniker and has announced plans to roll out a modern take on its original programming.
In January last year, the 35-year-old concept was taken over by original owners George Prentice and Corey Grubb and rebranded as LVL
, a three-floor venue that included a dance club, restaurant and event space.
Those changes came in response to a major downturn in the bar's management and reputation with the city. However, La Cage's new identity didn't sit well with the clientele, said Tommy Franecki, entertainment and PR manager at La Cage.
"The community didn't see that as a way out like we did," Franecki said. "We ran from who we were, but we were still known as La Cage to so many people."
After surveying patrons and listening to feedback, the bar decided to rebrand again as La Cage Niteclub and reintroduce its mainstay entertainment including drag shows, open mic nights and themed parties.
The bar quietly started updating its signage during Milwaukee's Pridefest earlier this month, Franecki said,
but La Cage will officially relaunch on July 5 and 6 with a grand "re-re-opening" event. It will include drink specials, giveaways, building tours and entertainment.
He said La Cage will continue to rent its third floor space for events such as weddings and private parties. LGBT-focused nonprofit organizations can book the space free of charge for events.
La Cage also plans to host its own public fundraisers to benefit organizations such as Courage MKE, which works to provide resources to Milwaukee's LGBT youth.
"We are focusing on helping the LGBT community and giving back to the community that has kept us going for 35 years," he said.