Mars Cheese Castle

The sun shines over the Mars Cheese Castle sign, an I-94 landmark

The sun shines over the Mars Cheese Castle sign, an I-94 landmark


How many times do you have to drive past the Mars Cheese Castle in Kenosha, WI before you finally venture in? I had stopped into the haven for all things Wisconsin (from cheese to beef jerky to stuffed cow kitsch) once in high school, but not again until this past weekend. It’s looks like a poor man’s Medieval Times marred by a slew of random, mismatched signs (namely the massive one everyone notices from the I-94) on the outside. Instead of knights, falcons and jousts going on inside (yes I have been to Medieval Times too, don’t hate), there are aisles stocked with Wisco-produced products from Door County wines to local jams, beer, smoked sausages, specialty sauces, bakery, cooking products, and of course lots and lots of cheese. Not to mention a cafe, bar, deli and fully stocked gift shop. A fellow Milwaukee native swears by the 9-year-aged Cheddar, but there were dozens of other varieties to choose from. I resisted the cheese, but reached instead for a packet of beef jerky sticks by Klement’s and a Mars-brand raspberry kringle. Not exactly Kosher for Passover but my family devoured them nonetheless. At check-out I learned that the Castle has actually been in the same location since 1947, but will be relocating to a new 25,000-square-foot space (directly behind the current one) as soon as the freeway expansion project gets underway starting in July. The new location will include a wine shop, the original sign (phew), and some sort of “draw-bridge” thing that shouldn’t be tacky at all. In the meantime, don’t just wonder what goes on inside the Castle, pull over next time and stop in for all the cheesy Wisconsin goodness you crave and more. Mars’ Cheese Castle, 2800 120th Avenue, Kenosha, WI 800.655.6147
Beer sausage (literally)

Beer sausage (literally)


Curd you die?

Curd you die?


Apple and cherry wines from Northeastern Wisconsin-based Von Stiehl Winery

Apple and cherry wines from Northeastern Wisconsin-based Von Stiehl Winery


Really, can anyone resist a Wisconsin kringle? I mean...

Really, can anyone resist a Wisconsin kringle? I mean...


If I had to guess, this trippy sign was designed in the mid-'60s. I love the planet hovering over the castle, but isn't Saturn the one with the rings?

If I had to guess, this trippy sign appeared in the mid-'60s. I love the planet hovering over the castle, but isn't Saturn the one with the rings?

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3 Comments

Filed under eliz-a-trip, I like to eats, random spottings, thick

3 responses to “Mars Cheese Castle

  1. YES!!!

    I can’t begin to tell you how jealous i was of you when I got to me Grandma’s house yesterday and there was no friggin’ kringle!! To add insult to injury, we were also deprived of Mertz Port Wine Cheese Spread!! I mean, what the hell do you think I come home to ‘Scony for, the company?!? NO. It’s for the dairy products found only on freeway off-ramps and Grandma’s house. I think I’m going to have to make a formal complaint to the family, then boycott a birthday or two until my point’s been heard.

    wtf.

  2. Pingback: Big League Chew « ELIZABITES

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