Tag Archives: Al johnson’s Swedish Restaurant & Butik

A day in the life of a Door County Autumn Mid-Week Guest….


Autumn weekdays in Door County are something to be treasured. The beauty is the same but the setting offers a friendly but relaxed attitude. There is something to be said about getting a table right away at Al Johnson’s and not having to salivate while your watching other people with their pancakes.

However, just because the hustle and bustle is gone doesn’t mean there are any less activities going on!

After waking up to a great nights sleep at High Point Inn a crisp autumn morning greets you while you brew your first morning coffee. The leaves changing on the trees look particularly beautiful this morning so you decide to head to Newport State Park for a peaceful walk. The trails are quieter there but no less impressive than Peninsula State Park.

After your hike you’re feeling relaxed and a bit more stimulated. You’re stomach is growling and only The Viking Grill can satisfy it! You drive back south and stop in for some fuel for the day’s activities.

Traffic has slowed down which makes traveling between towns and villages much faster! It’s a secret only the locales know. You’re able to hit more shops and galleries than when you visit in the summer. Which is great for you! Maybe not so much for your partner. You decide to reward them with a tasty burger and a Wisconsin beer at the Cornerstone Pub in Baileys Harbor.

You’ve had a full day of activities but aren’t done yet! You decide to head back to High Point Inn for a wee nap. Don’t forget you’re on vacation! You deserve a nap.

This evening you and your partner are going to Peninsula Players to see their fall show “Miracle on South Division Street”. The play is under cover so there is no need to worry about rain! However, before you head there you drop in to Mr. Helsinki’s for a few appetizers and drinks. The atmosphere is great, you could sit there all night but there is a play to be seen!

You’ve had a fun packed and full day in Door County and now it’s off to bed! It’s a good thing you’re staying at High Point Inn! You aren’t sure what adventures you want to get up to tomorrow. You’re on vacation though and there is nothing wrong with sleeping in and enjoying the amenities High Point Inn has to offer!

  Call us Toll Free: 800-595-6894 or Local: 920-854-9773 or send us an email at info@highpointinn.com

In memory of Door County icon Al Johnson

This weekend Al Johnson, the Door County entrepreneur who put goats on his roof and in doing so helped bring tourists to Door County passed away. Al Johnson’s Swedish Restaurant was almost always on visitors “must go” list since he opened his doors in 1949. In honor of this iconic man who did so much to promote Door County as a tourist destination, we are providing a few links that will only scratch the surface of what he meant to Sister Bay and the Door peninsula:

From Myles Dannhausen, Jr. at the Peninsula Pulse:

His restaurant was one of northern Door County’s largest employers. Countless area kids paid for their college educations with paychecks earned beneath Al’s famous grass roof. When former workers fell on hard times, he found a place for them, even if they had once left on bad terms.

His staff benefitted from the kind of security and perks rarely seen in the restaurant or tourism industries, helping employees make a life and raise a family in Northern Door. The tips earned by his waitresses have long been the envy of colleagues at other establishments. Those workers have spread their income around the village and the county, filling bars with dirndls (to the delight of many a visitor), and spending on groceries, clothing, and homes.

Photos and notes from the 60th anniversary celebration that took place in Sister Bay last summer.

And finally, an audio podcast interview with his great friend Norb Blei that took place in February of 2007. For anyone under the impression that Al Johnson was a reserved, stoic person, listen to this interview for some stories about a life that was lived with gusto, grace and more than a bit of mischief.

Our thoughts go out to Al’s family and his many dear friends.

An iconic Door County restaurant turns 60 in Sister Bay

Happy 60th Birthday to Al Johnson's Swedish Restaurant & Butik!

Happy 60th Birthday to Al Johnson's Swedish Restaurant & Butik!

This past Saturday a celebration took place at the waterfront in Sister Bay. Employees from the past 60 years gathered to salute Al Johnson and the famous Door County restaurant he started 60 years ago this year. The High Point Inn salutes Al, his wife and business partner Ingert and their family, on this momentous event.

If you have not been to Al Johnson’s Swedish Restaurant, we highly recommend a visit to try some of their Swedish food specialities. Try the Swedish meatballs and Swedish pancakes served with lingonberries. Or indulge yourself with Swedish Limpa bread served with specialty cheeses. If you aren’t feeling like Scandinavian food, Al’s also serves generous portions of American favorites.

And of course, don’t forget to snap some photos of the famous goats on the grass roof of the restaurant. Happy birthday to our neighbor to the north – Al Johnson’s Swedish Restaurant & Butik in Sister Bay!