Sweden, on the cusp of innovation and modernization, has contributed to universal progress through global flagship companies like Ericsson, Ikea, Spotify and Skype. Their penchant for technological innovation is supported by a sensibility towards concepts and solutions rooted in renewable energy, which accounts for forty-eight percent of Sweden’s energy production. However, underlying all this cosmopolitan flair and twenty-first-century innovation is a history and tradition rooted in a simple appreciation for goats, and the farms they graze. Ranging from cheese, meat, butter, milk and ice cream, goat farms have been the foundation of Swedish culture for centuries. So influential is this way of life that before there was online music streaming, modern furniture, or video chats, stood Al Johnson’s.

Since 1949, situated on the coast of Lake Michigan, at the edge of Sister Bay in Door County, sits “that place with the goats on the roof”. More specifically, Al Johnson’s is an authentic Swedish, family-owned restaurant and lodging, that stays true to the traditions of pancakes, Swedish meatballs and a variety of hot and cold plates. However, despite the delicious food, décor and young ladies in Scandinavian garb, the main attraction here is the peculiar sight of the rooftop goats, and there is no better place to take it all in than at Al Johnson’s Stabbur Beer Garden.

Located next to the restaurant, the ‘Stabbur,’ which means ‘storehouse’ in Norwegian, is a handcrafted log building that serves an array of beers and cocktails. Famous for fish fry’s, live music and a ‘Stabbur’ specific menu, the venue is nothing less than the summertime institution in Wisconsin. For the Johnsons, each of their two hundred and fifty patio guests is considered family during their time on the farm, and like any good host, providing comfort is a priority. So, after years of maintaining tradition, Al Johnson’s Stabbur is embracing a bit of modern world convenience by reaching out to ShadeFX for the ultimate sun and rain protection.

“ShadeFX took the time to understand our business and needs before making a proposal which immediately impressed us. As our requirements evolved, they were as committed to our vision as we were. The results are fantastic and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend ShadeFX for any project requiring retractable sun and rain protection.”

– Fred Bexell, General Manager, Al Johnson’s Stabbur Beer Garden

Tasked with making each chair on the 2200 square foot patio a relaxed one, ShadeFX devised a 6 Bay Aluminum Structure with Retractable Roof and Gutters. In order to match the traditional aesthetic, all components were coated with an Ochre Brown, and the canopy fabric, a Ferrari Buttercup. To ensure a seamless transition, our ShadeFX team conducted the onsite assessment, delivery and installation, while also treating ourselves to some of those world-famous Swedish meatballs. Now, regardless of hot weather or rainy days, ‘Skål’ can be heard coming from the ‘Stabbur,’ overtop the grazing goat rooftops and out into Lake Michigan.

After 58 years of devout Swedish tradition dedicated to goats grazing on roofs, the Johnson family decided to embrace a modern convenience that will compliment their tradition and help ensure their legacy.

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