Longstanding Cheeze Factory building torn down in Lake Delton

May 1, 2019

After more than 70 years on Wisconsin Dells Parkway South, the building that once housed The Cheeze Factory has been torn down.

According to Wilderness general manager Joe Eck, whose company had leased the building, teardown was overdue.

“The building was abandoned, and it was pretty much turning into an eyesore,” Eck said. “The person who had it had no interest in having it, so we actually leased it from them with the agreement that we would tear it down.”

The teardown, which began April 17, signaled the end of a long history for the building. According to the Cheeze Factory website, the first business to fill the space opened in 1948 as the Bowl Inn Bar, a combination bowling alley and cocktail lounge.

From 1957 through 1992, the space cycled through various owners and names, but always existed in the Dells as a cheese store.

“From 1957 until 1992 the building went through various incarnations but was always a place where cheese was packaged and sold,” according to the Cheeze Factory website. “It also holds special memories for many who remember coming to the cheese mart as children to buy candy.”

In 1992, the space re-branded as the Cheeze Factory, a fully vegan, non-GMO restaurant. They remained in that space until 2017, when the building owner sold the property and the restaurant relocated to Baraboo.

According to restaurant owner Denise Dreszman, they did not have any say in the teardown of the building or its repurposing two years ago.

“We didn’t own the building, we were renting, and the owner decided he was going to sell the building,” Dreszmon said. “This wasn’t until a year and a half, two years ago when he told us he was going to sell the building.”

According to Eck, there are no permanent future plans for the now-empty lot. For the time being, the Wilderness will use the space as an additional parking lot.

Neither Dreszmon nor Eck had contact information for the owners of the lot. According to Lake Delton treasurer Kay Mackesey, Dells Plazas LLC owns the building. The company could not be reached for comment on the demolition.