The owners and patrons of the historic Holler House bar in Milwaukee are hollering cries of joy after the city withdrew its ban on the bras that adorn the storied watering hole’s ceiling.
Bras have been a unique decorative touch at the Holler House for nearly 50 years, but, citing a fire hazard, a Milwaukee inspector issued a ban on the brassieres after visiting the South Side bar last month. However, the city has since withdrawn its support for the ban.
Marcy Skowrowski, the 87-year-old owner of Holler House, was exultant over the bra ban being lifted. “Oh my goodness, we won,” Skowronski told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “We’re going to have a party to throw the bras back up.”
Skowronski said the bras have been a 45-year tradition at the Holler House, which has been serving Milwaukee for more than a century. She recalled the city inspector’s visit to the bar last month, and said the reasoning for the bra ban was ridiculous. “We’ve had bras hanging here for 45 years. It’s been a charm of the place,” she told the newspaper. “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 told the Associated Press that inspectors had never previously made such a ruling over the years they have been examining the Holler House.
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The bar owner enlisted the Journal Sentinel for help in getting the ban lifted, and reached out to her alderman, Bob Donovan. “Long story short, common sense prevailed, and the city backed down,” Donovan told AP.
The bras have yet to be reinstalled on the ceiling of the Holler House. The Milwaukee bar is holding a special event to rehang the brassieres while helping charity along the way. “We’re going to have a rehang the bras party over there and perhaps charge at the door,” Donovan said. “And any money we are able to bring in, the proceeds will go to buying a little common sense for the Department of Neighborhood Services.”
The bra tradition was started in part by Skowronski, when the brassieres went up on the ceiling in the 1960s. “We all got bombed, all these girls. And we just decided to take our bras off and hang them up,” she told the Journal Sentinel.
The Holler House had faced fines of between $150 and $10,000 a day if it had left the brassieres up following the ban.