NewsLocal NewsIn Your NeighborhoodAppleton


Appleton community members reminisce on a former disco club

The Fire Alarm building demolition
Posted at 8:40 AM, Dec 10, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-10 09:40:44-05

APPLETON (NBC 26) — A community vestige was torn down in Appleton this week. For many people in the Fox Valley, this building will always hold a special place in their heart.

"Over the years I've had literally hundreds of couples come in asking what's going on with The Fire Alarm because they had met their husband or wife there and they had great memories there,” said Brian Striegel, Camelot Bar and Grill Owner.

The Fire Alarm was built in the 1940s to be a chicken hatchery. Over the years it attracted a different kind of chick: disco chicks.

"There were a lot of dance places, but that was one of the best ones,” said Striegel.

In the 1970s, The Fire Alarm was transformed into a popular dance club.

Kathy Lewis recalls her disco days at The Fire Alarm in the 70s and 80s.

"We would dress up and hit the dance floor, it was just so much fun,” said Lewis.

She's not the only person reminiscing about days at the disco. The Camelot Bar and Grill is across the street from the building and posted to Facebook asking people to share their memories of the club. As of today, their post has over 400 comments of people exchanging memories.

"I knew that a lot of people would be interested in what was going on, but I never thought I'd get that kind of reaction,” said Striegel.

Kathy had a special connection to the club. She met a man there in 1978.

"I really wasn't interested in giving my phone number out, but I rattled it off quickly thinking oh he'll never remember that, but he did,” said Lewis.

A few years later, they were married.

In the 2010s, The Fire Alarm wasn’t the same as it once was.

"The last owner tried very hard, and put a lot of money into it but by that time the reputation wasn't so good. So, financially, it didn’t make any sense,” said Striegel.

So along with the disco era, The Fire Alarm's reign had ended.

In the following years, there was a series of foreclosures, and the building was used for storage.

The land of The Fire Alarm is now owned by the St. Joseph Cemetery, but the memory of the Fire Alarm lives on.