On Tuesday, May 22, the top floor of LVL Complex in Walker’s Point will be unveiled to the public during a Spring Open House. The space, called LVL Events, recently experienced a major overhaul along with the rest of the building –new name, owners, and major renovations.
LVL Events is one of Milwaukee’s newest alternative event spaces, and is currently booking weddings, corporate events, and large private parties.
“We are excited to reveal our new event space to the public, and we are excited to be a part of the increased business and entertainment activity in Walker’s Point,” said George D. Prentice, Jr., co-owner of LVL Complex alongside Corey Grubb.
LVL Events has everything event planners look for in a venue: large, circular bar; seating for 200; full stage and sound system for performers, bands, or DJs; dance floor; LCD screens; professional lighting; bridal and VIP room; 1,600 square-foot outside deck; and private entry.
“The space offers a rich atmosphere for any event, from the Cream City brick to the unlimited floor plan options, to the additional venues within the same building,” Prentice said. “When the event is wrapping up, how great it is to be able to move into a high energy dance club (LVL Dance) or a low key lounge (LVL Bistro) to cap off the night?”
Historical Significance LVL Complex is on the National Register of Historic Places and has made history in Milwaukee in more ways than one.
The Cream City brick building was designed and built by Frederick Bahr in 1886 to house Bahr’s dry goods store on the lower level and his family residence upstairs.
According to the Library of Congress, it is one of the most elaborate and eclectic commercial buildings of its size in the City of Milwaukee.
Jump a few owners (including a prominent south side family and a Polka King), decades, and renovations later to when Prentice and Grubb purchased the building in 1984.
Soon after it was reborn as La Cage aux Folles, named after the 1975 French film (or you may be more familiar with the 1996 American remake The Birdcage). La Cage was one of the first prominent gay bars in Milwaukee, and the first to be near a major intersection, with a welcoming fluorescent sign, and large unapologetic windows.
“In those days you did not find a gay bar by accident,” Prentice said. “Gay bars had no windows other than the small regulation glass in the front door. And there were no signs –just a colored lightbulb.”
La Cage’s popularity grew throughout the 1990s and 2000s. In 2005, Prentice and Grubb sold the building and nightclub to retire in Florida. When the building was about to go up for auction in 2017, they returned to Milwaukee, bought it back, and reinvented the space for its next life as LVL Complex.
Spring Open House
Be one of the first to experience this new wedding and event venue. Get a tour, meet the staff, grab a bite to eat, and enjoy some cocktails. Open to the public.
Date: Tuesday, May 22, 2018
Time: 4-8 p.m.
Place: 801 S. 2nd Street, Milwaukee, WI 53204 Entrance is center door on 2ndStreet