O'Cayz Corral

O'Cayz Corral was a downtown Madison, Wisconsin bar and music venue that featured local and national punk, rock, and grunge musical acts.


Located at 504 E. Wilson Street in Madison, Wisconsin, USA, O'Cayz Corral was originally named Don's Shell (Owned by Don & Cay Millard). Later named, 'Millard's Bar'.[1] Catherine "Cay" Millard became owner of the tavern in 1980 and changed the name to O'Cayz Corral, a country-western themed bar with a capacity of 150. It was operated by "Cay" until her death in 1990. Left to four of her five children, it was then operated by her daughter, Mary Millard Dodd until 1994, when it was leased by Cathy Dethmers, who leased it until 2001.[2] Referred to as the "CBGB's of the Midwest," [3] O'Cayz featured many underground punk, grunge, and rock bands that later became major contributors to pop culture. People best remember two events at O'Cayz, aside from the many fine performances there. A drunk truck driver smashed into the front of the building, killing a 22 year old University of Wisconsin student and destroying the band Surgery's van. On another occasion, the floor caved in on the dance floor during a Royal Crescent Mob performance.[4] O'Cayz was destroyed by a fire that began in the 'Cay's Comic-Strip', a neighborhood bar at 502 East Wilson St., also owned by the family of Cay Millard, on January 1, 2001. Dethmers reopened nearby in 2004 as the High Noon Saloon.

Featured Artists

Some of the bands that played at O'Cayz Corral between 1994 and 2001:
Queens of The Stone Age, Hüsker Dü, Firehose, The White Stripes, Soundgarden,[5] D.R.I., Deerhoof, Killdozer, Nashville Pussy, Fu Manchu, At The Drive-In, Elliot Smith, Green Day, Nomeansno, Cop Shoot Cop, The Jesus Lizard,[6] The Smashing Pumpkins,[7] Mike Watt, The Replacements, Nirvana, Living Colour, L7,[8] Old Skull, Tortoise,[9] Big Black, The Feelies, Camper Van Beethoven,[10], Nebula, The Atomic Bitchwax,[11]GG Allin, Calexico, Superchunk


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