The property at 802 W Loucks (originally 400 Loucks) was built in 1921 as a grocery store during prohibition (complete with a trap door to the basement). It became a liquor store in 1933 immediately upon the end of prohibition. At some point in the late 1930’s, it transitioned into a grocery-café, called Lido Café, featuring Italian food and catfish every Friday.
Bill Baxter took over the property in 1947 and renamed the business “Angle Inn” presumably transitioning it into a place serving alcohol drinks rather than packaged goods. Bertinelli regained the business in 1952, altering the name to “Lido Inn”.
The city of Peoria renumbered the streets in 1956 and the address changed from 400 Loucks to 802 W Loucks.
In 1966, Ray Eskridge bought the property and renamed the location “Ray’s Patio Inn”. He soon introduced the now-famous cheese spread serving it in free-for-all crocks on the bar. He frequently invited the after-hours party to the outdoor patio at his home next door. Hence the “Patio”. Ray successfully ran the business until 1988 when he retired.
The property briefly operated among a few owners including as Curt and Jackie’s Patio Inn. Then in 1993 Chuck and Barb Castle bought the business and the secret cheese recipe. They updated the production and truly marketed the cheese across the country.
After 28 incredible years, new owners purchased the property in 2021. They added credit card payment, updated the menu, and made some other minor changes but there’s still whole catfish every Friday, hot mustard, and, of course, THE CHEESE. Cheers to another century of business success!
Castle's cheese is loved around the world!
Be sure to send us any photos you may have as well!
Please note: TSA considers the cheese a liquid. So be sure to pack it in your checked luggage! It is good unrefrigerated for up to 6 hours (average temperature of plane cargo hold is 64F).
We recommend freezing it before travel just to be sure!
We know we're not the easiest place to find! We're located at the corner of Loucks and Hanssler.
802 W Loucks Ave. Peoria, IL 61604