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We presume you mean the Madison bar and café and not the Aristophanes heroine for which it was named. Lysistrata was one of the centers of Madison’s LGBTQ+ community for just over four years, from New Year’s Eve 1977 until 1982. The establishment was founded as a feminist collective, and its initial board included UW professor Ruth Bleier, as well as alumnae Kathryn Clarenbach ’41, MA’42, PhD’46; Karla Dobinski ’73, JD’76; Andrea Mote Stelling Kelsey JD’79; and Jane Caryer ’48. Catherine Rouse, sister of former dean of students Mary Rouse, was also on the board. One of its brochures described the bar as “a place where women of differing ages, views, and experiences can gather, get to know each other, discuss issues of mutual interest, give each other support.” On January 8, 1982, Lysistrata and several surrounding buildings were destroyed by fire — rumor held that it was arson, though no one was ever prosecuted. The location — 319 W. Gorham Street — is now home to Chasers Bar and Grille. If you did mean the heroine of Aristophanes’s play, she united the women of Athens to withhold sex from men in a successful effort to force them to end a war with Sparta. Well done, Lys.

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