How to Piss Off Someone From Kenosha

by Jennifer Billock Jun 10, 2016

Confuse “East of the I” with “Westosha.”

The expressway dividing these two regions is a very serious line to cross. Although both sides are Kenosha County (and parts of Kenosha proper spill over to the other side), we don’t mix the two. Kenoshans that live east of the expressway stay East of the I because the other side is so far and so empty, and Kenoshans that live in Westosha (Western Kenosha, get it?) don’t venture east because it’s so far and so crowded.

Prefer to get burgers at Big Star… or at The Spot.

This rivalry goes back decades. The two main drive-ins in Kenosha are in a constant battle for who has the best burgers. If you’re from Kenosha, you’ve no doubt done a taste test to compare the two. Everyone has a favorite, even out-of-towners—but be careful who you tell your preference to. We’re fiercely loyal to our preferred burger stand. Which side are you on? I won’t judge you, I swear…

Wear a cheese grater hat, or wear a cheese hat.

Kenosha is technically both a suburb of Milwaukee and Chicago at the same time, so football loyalty is split down the middle. Half for the Packers and half for the Bears. As proud Wisconsin cheeseheads, we’ve created a foam hat that looks like a wedge of cheese—and our enemies have created a foam hat that looks like a cheese grater. They both come out at football games, but choose which one you wear wisely. You’ll be making an enemy somewhere in Kenosha either way.

Say Mars Cheese Castle is just a made-up place.

I’m sorry, but what? Clearly you’ve never beheld our glorious shrine to Wisconsin’s best commodity. It may have a silly name, but Mars Cheese Castle does exist—and it’s everything you could have dreamed of. A literal castle, full of cheese, with sausage and beer and sandwiches and gourmet foodstuffs… You absolutely cannot go wrong with a visit here.

Insult the trolley.

That’s our job, not yours. We know it doesn’t really go anywhere but in a less-than-two-mile loop around downtown and the harbor. But it’s historical, damnit! And it brings some retro color pops to our fair city. So can it—you’re not allowed to make fun of the trolley.

Assume we’re from Illinois.

Just… don’t. We’re on the state line, but we’re worlds different from those FIBs in Illinois. Don’t get confused.

Suggest Frank’s Diner is less than amazing.

It’s brunch in a train car. And it’s the oldest operating train car diner in the U.S. It may be cramped, but it’s delicious, and every self-respecting Kenosha resident has been there at least once. For extra points, they tried the Garbage Plate, a mishmash of eggs, hash browns, ham, sausage, green peppers, American cheese, onions, and jalapenos. Don’t bother telling us it’s too crowded or the food is too greasy. There’s a reason Frank’s has been voted Best Diner & Best Breakfast in Kenosha County for six years in a row, AND was featured on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives — something we take pride in even though we also can’t stand Guy Fieri.

Downplay the Kenosha Kingfish.

Yes, we know our baseball team plays in a small league made of college students. But listen, that doesn’t make them any less special. The games are full of hometown fun (and we get to kidnap the Brewers’ Racing Sausages) and those kids are phenomenal players. And don’t forget that Simmons Field is historic, too — it’s the home of the Kenosha Comets from the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League. It was featured in A League of Their Own. We’re famous baseball history.

Backtalk Lou Rugani, the king of Kenosha history.

The man knows everything there is to know about Kenosha and its history. Don’t diss him. We’ll be pretty pissed.

Say any other lake is better than Lake Michigan.

Yeah, yeah, Wisconsin also borders Lake Superior way up north. But down in Kenosha, we have the beautiful Lake Michigan shoreline stretching across the eastern edge of the city. We have a mix of sandy beaches and rocky shore that we don’t have to hike to. It’s perfect for us. So be nice.

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