East Side bar RC's closing after 44 years

Posted at 6:53 PM, Apr 26, 2018

RC Schmidt had no idea the bar he opened in 1974 at 15th and East North Avenue would stay open for 44 years.

“In this business, you think about tomorrow, and maybe yesterday and you plan for the weekends,” said RC. 

Old pictures prove this bar was the place to be back in the 70s and 80s.

“It was a place where people gathered, had fun, did Milwaukee things like drink and play bar dice. There were pretty girls that had to pick one guy or the other and they would come back and tell us, or come back as husband and wife and talk about it,” said RC. 

RC’s son, Matt Schmidt, started out as a bartender at RC’s. He admits, it wasn’t the fanciest establishment, but patrons didn’t mind. 

“It’s really not the physical building that’s important, it’s the people inside of it and we had so many good people that worked for us,” said Matt. 

So why close? 

“We have other businesses now that take up a lot of our time,” said RC. 

In fact, RC owns ten other bars in Southeast Wisconsin, four Water Street Brewery locations, two Louise’s locations, Vagabond, Trinity Three Irish Pubs, The Harp, and The Black Rose. Matt is the Director of Operations for them and RC’s other sons help run them too.

As far as what’s next for RC’s, the property is being sold. The sale currently under contract. The new owner, a secret for now. 

On Saturday, from 5 p.m. to bar close, RC’s will host a final party, to celebrate the decades of memories made at his east side icon. 

“A bar being around for 44 years is pretty impressive and means a lot to people and it means a lot to us too,” said Matt.