If you aren't already aware, bars in Wisconsin are a special breed of cheese curds and bizarre tradition. In a state with one bar for every 240 residents in one county, there's pretty much a watering hole for everyone, whether you're a burly biker with beef jerky breath or a soccer mom who likes to take shotskis on Tuesday nights with the gals. (There is only one common denominator: Pabst. Blue. Ribbon.) For one Milwaukee tavern, the bar's shtick — nay, its essence and soul — was the dozens of bras hanging skis on the bar's ceiling.
Holler House, which first opened its doors in 1908, started decorating its ceilings with bras 45 years ago when owner Marcy Skowrosnki and some of her probably badass friends had a few too many and threw their bras on the skis hanging from the ceiling. "We all got bombed, all these girls, and we just decided to take our bras off and hang them up," said Skowronski. A perfectly acceptable explanation, in my opinion. Nearly fifty years and no doubt thousands of PBR's later, the bar has amassed a great collection of brassieres, a testament to the patriarchy-subverting power of malt beverages.
But after decades of tossing brassieres to the ceiling, some shenanigan-hating city inspector visited the bar and was all like, "Down with the bras! These despicable boobie contraptions be an abomination!" Actually, she said the bras were a fire hazard and told Skowronski to take them down. But Skowronski tells it better:
So here comes this gal and she's walking in here like Lady Astor's pet horse, you know, and she says she wants those bras down because they're a fire hazard. Now how can a bra be a fire hazard unless someone is wearing it? Honest to God.
Skowronski attempted to appeal the decision but missed the deadline, and fearing the hefty fines for, uh, throwing bras and letting them hang from the ceiling or whatnot, she woefully took the underthings down.
The 87-year-old grandma isn't one to back down to a challenge, so she launched a media campaign to bring the bras back. A city alderman put in some calls, explained the time-honored tradition of the bras to the fogeys that despised them so, and the fogeys backed down. Skowronski plans to rehang the bras and continue being the physical embodiment of all things Wisconsin.
Image via Associated Press