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Al Johnson's Swedish Restaurant & Butik

Posted by
Steven (Chicagoland, United States) on 30 November 2020 in Food & Cuisine and Portfolio.

Al Johnson's Swedish Restaurant is a family-owned, casual dining restaurant in Sister Bay, Wisconsin. It is known for its Swedish cuisine and Scandinavian experience, as well as for the goats that live on its roof. In 1949, Al Johnson, the owner, opened a restaurant that he called Al's Home Cooking. In 1973, Al Johnson renovated the restaurant by importing wooden logs from a building in Norway and added a sod roof. Al's wife, Ingert, changed the interior to a more traditional Scandinavian design, and she added a gift shop called the Butik as a time filler for restaurant patrons waiting to be seated. After the renovation was complete, a friend gave Johnson a goat named Oscar as a joke, and someone decided to put Oscar on the roof as a joke. He later caught the attention of pedestrians, and inspired Al to obtain additional goats and put them on the roof. In 1996, the Johnsons registered the "Goats on the Roof" trademark, so that other restaurants in the United States can't have goats on their roofs. This day, goats weren't on the roof. But the restaurant's roof is equipped with goat cams for those who don't want to miss the opportunity. You can see the cameras toward the right side of the roof.

Photo captured August 17, 2020.

NIKON D7000 1/125 second F/11.0 ISO 180 52 mm (35mm equiv.)

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Spotlight Images

By Marie from Villages du Lac de Paladru, France

This restaurant resembles our restaurants called "Buffalo grill". Nice light on that day and beautiful wooden buildings.

30 Nov 2020 5:56am

Ginnie Hart from Netherlands

Oh, how fun, Steven. Too bad the goats weren't grazing but maybe the next time?!

30 Nov 2020 6:09am

Claudine/canelle from Lorient, France

Un restaurant très pittoresque , dommage de ne pas avoir pu prendre ces chèvres sur ce toit ..

30 Nov 2020 6:12am

lisl from Bath, United Kingdom

This is quite an amazing story, Steven

30 Nov 2020 7:58am

Maryse from Bordeaux, France

J'aime les toits "engazonnés" !
Bonne journée Steven

30 Nov 2020 8:04am

Existence Artistique from Angers, France

génial ce toit végétal

30 Nov 2020 8:45am

Ana Lúcia from Leiria, Portugal

Beautiful place.

30 Nov 2020 9:19am

Shaun from Massachusetts, United States

A superb look at this restaurant. I bet the food is good there.

30 Nov 2020 10:12am

Pascale MD from Cévennes, France

Bonjour Steven,
Merci pour la visite, c'est gentil.
Bien sympa ce petit restaurant, je m'y arrêterai bien volontiers, mais cela fait un peu loin pour moi ;-)
Prends soin de toi également.
Bonne journée

30 Nov 2020 11:10am

grouser from Ludlow, United Kingdom

Nice capture and fascinating back story. I have seen goats on a roof of a shack in Canada and it does seems a shame that other restaurants can't take advantage of this ecologically sound idea, but I guess there is still scope for sheep :)

30 Nov 2020 11:11am

Lougris from Toulouse, France

J'adore ces toits végétalisme !

30 Nov 2020 2:20pm

Devi from Chennai, India

What a nice history behind this restaurant!!
The interiors must be as great as hat roof!!!
The food must be really great too!!
Lovely image !

30 Nov 2020 3:06pm

Ruthiebear from Titusville, NJ, United States

Lovely clarity, color and light

30 Nov 2020 3:56pm

Jypyä Pop from Turku, Finland

Interesting restaurant. Thak you of info

30 Nov 2020 5:17pm

Ralf Kesper from Fröndenberg, Germany

Nice large blockhouse

30 Nov 2020 5:28pm

tataray from France

Un magnifique endroit avec ce toit végétal, c'est extraordinaire.

30 Nov 2020 6:20pm

rem_la from Villiers, France

il ne manque plus que les pâquerettes sur le toit........

30 Nov 2020 6:23pm

willy from Belgium

Goats on the Roof....

Une très belle image avec cette toiture végétale Steven


30 Nov 2020 7:17pm

suzanne from Bruxelles, Belgium

Un endroit qui parait bien sympa :-)

Bonne semaine :-)

30 Nov 2020 7:30pm

Steve Rice from Olympia, United States

Ha ha, what a great idea of goats on the roof. I like those colorful goats, too.

30 Nov 2020 8:00pm

Rose Swalls from United States

What a great idea, one I never would have dreamed up.

30 Nov 2020 8:12pm

B. Thomas from Arlington, Texas, United States

What a fun idea to have goats on the roof, and to even have a goat cam. Fun shot and info.

30 Nov 2020 8:18pm

omid from mashhad, Iran

such beautiful composition, colors, lights & shadows!

30 Nov 2020 10:03pm

Elaine Hancock from Olney, United States

It looks like a very inviting place and to have goats on the roof is a real extra! I would love to see that! A beautiful view of the restaurant. I hope that you got to eat there.

30 Nov 2020 10:45pm

Michael Rawluk from Williams Lake, BC, Canada

Very nicely shot.

1 Dec 2020 12:00am

Darkelf Photography from Perth, Australia

Wonderful crisp and vibrant photo.

1 Dec 2020 12:43am

Harry from Apex, NC, United States

a true landmark, nicely shot

1 Dec 2020 12:56am

Elizabeth Buckalew from Flagstaff, United States

Well that's all just wonderful, Steven! I really love places like this that celebrate heritage!

1 Dec 2020 4:43am

Diane from Vancouver Island, Canada

That's really interesting. Where I live, the village 'behind' us has sod roofs and we also have goats on the roof. It's a year round tourist attraction. In the summer, it's mayhem getting in and out of there. I'm always amazed at how many people want to see them, though it really is unique. I loved learning about the goats on the roof in the USA. Very interesting -- thanks.

1 Dec 2020 6:20am

sherri from Little Rock, Arkansas, United States

so the goats actually go up there, huh? how intringing.

1 Dec 2020 8:55pm

Remus from Portugal

Goats want height and sloping terrain. To have a roof like this, for them it must be wonderful.

Interesting restaurant and thank you by sharing knowledge and history.

2 Dec 2020 10:06pm

Jeanmadis from Chonburi, Thailand

Sympathiques ces chèvres qui symbolisent toutes les nations.

4 Dec 2020 3:57am