By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Jan 18, 2024 at 9:01 AM

Next month, Madison’s oldest post-Prohibition tavern will close its doors.

Clyde Teasdale opened the Silver Dollar Tavern, 117 W. Mifflin St., in spring 1933, immediately after Repeal made booze legal again.

After trying and failing to find a new location for the bar, the owners have announced that its last day of service will be Saturday, Feb. 3.

May 1933 ads.

But thanks to the generosity of the fourth-generation owners of the beloved tap, the Silver Dollar's mahogany-topped bar will live on in Wisconsin's capital.

The Teasdale family have donated the 43-foot bar to the Wisconsin Historical Society's new Wisconsin History Center, slated to open on Capitol Square in early 2027.

In addition, the family – which recently sold the tavern property to Hovde Properties – has donated the back-bar cabinetry and lighting, neon signs and other Silver Dollar memorabilia to the future museum.

According to media reports in Madison, Hovde plans to raze the building and redevelop the site.

“It feels good to know that when we close the doors next month, the 90-year legacy of our family business will live on in Wisconsin history,” said Chuck Teasdale, co-owner of the Silver Dollar.


“Just down the street, stories of our city and state will continue to be told around the Silver Dollar bar top.”

The Silver Dollar Tavern items will be used to highlight  post-prohibition era bars and the family-owned taverns in the state’s social and cultural history.

“It’s rare to see a fourth-generation tavern –it’s an extraordinary thing,” said architectural historian and preservationist Jim Draeger, who is also the co-author of “Bottoms Up: A Toast to Wisconsin’s Historic Bars and Breweries.”

“At a time when family-owned taverns are falling by the wayside, it’s fitting that the Wisconsin Historical Society would preserve one of the rare survivors from our state, giving it new life for future generations.” 

The Silver Dollar bar will be, "a full-service, active destination within the center, welcoming guests to pull up a stool, order a beverage and continue the longstanding Wisconsin tradition of social gathering," the WHS noted in a release.

It will, "serve as inspiration for the final design of the fifth floor gathering and event space in the five-story, 100,000-square-foot history center."

The new Wisconsin History Center will replace the former center, now closed, and is being designed by Ralph Appelbaum Associates, Milwaukee's Continuum Architects + Planners and SmithGroup.

“We are incredibly grateful to the Teasdale family for this generous gift to the Wisconsin History Center,” said Christian Overland, Ruth and Hartley Barker Director & CEO of the Wisconsin Historical Society.

“We’ve been searching for the right iconic tavern bar to serve as a focal point of the top floor event space. Welcoming one of the state’s oldest post-prohibition bars—and the stories and meaningful memories that come with it—into the design of a dynamic new space is an exciting opportunity.”

For more about the history center project, visit

Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.

He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.

With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.

He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.

In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.

He has be heard on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories, in that station's most popular podcast.