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Red Cabin on Green Acres: Country comforts restaurant with big city tastes

After a year of getting their feet wet, the new owners officially announced the move with ribbon-cutting ceremony

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January 9, 2024

FOND DU LAC – If the name Red Cabin at Green Acres conjures up thoughts of relaxation, peacefulness, comfort and joy, then you understand what this long-standing restaurant just outside of Fond du Lac is all about.

But new owners – Hailey Rohlfs and Sara Michaelson – said it’s that and so much more.

The duo said Red Cabin at Green Acres is a family-owned American restaurant that serves butcher-fresh burgers, draft brews, appetizers, quesadillas, soups and salads and classic supper club fare, including chicken, seafood, pork and pasta.

Michaelson said the Red Cabin also offers a children’s menu with a variety of items.

Former Red Cabin employees, Rohlfs and Michaelson took over as owners/operators at the beginning of last year following 13 years of ownership by Dave Schuh.

An unplanned journey
Michaelson said her journey to working at and eventually owning Red Cabin started many years ago. 

“I started working at a supper club named Idlewile in St. Cloud, Wisconsin – paying my way through nursing school,” she said. “I started as a dishwasher, then a busser, then a server/bartender. I started writing schedules, working at their sister supper club, and then had my first child.”

It was at that time, as a new mother, that Michaelson said she started looking for a daytime position.

“That’s when I found Red Cabin,” she said. “I have been working at Red Cabin for the last seven years and manager of the restaurant for the last four. (I knew) the front of (the) house, back of (the) house, so when the opportunity arose, I asked one of my most dependable staff (Hailey) if she would want to take the next steps with me. She did. So, here we are.”

Rohlfs said she also worked her way up the ranks at Red Cabin – starting five years ago as a dishwasher. 

She transitioned into the kitchen and ultimately became a server. 

“We knew how the business worked and how it ran,” she said.

Rohlfs said when they heard Schuh was planning on selling, they approached him about buying the restaurant.

“We didn’t want it to go to some corporate person who would (change it into some kind of chain restaurant or change it drastically in other ways),” she said. “We wanted it to stay the Red Cabin that all of our customers love and we love working for. We know the customers, and we’ve developed those relationships over the years. So, we figured with us buying it, it would be the best way to keep it the same.”

Owning a restaurant, Rohlfs said, wasn’t necessary in her career plans.

There’s a little red cabin that sits on the establishment’s 10-acre property by the pond, which is how it got the name Red Cabin at Green Acres. Submitted Photo

She said she studied business in college and had been planning on putting that business degree to use in the agriculture field. 

“So, this was a switch-up for me,” she said. “With Sara having been Dave’s service manager for a few years, she had the people experience. It’s been a learning curve for me, for sure, but I learn fast, and so far, we’re doing well. Every day we’re learning something new.”

Making it ‘official’
Even though the Rohlfs and Michaelson bought the restaurant a year ago, they wanted to get their feet wet and have a year under their belt as owners before announcing it to the greater public at large.

Envision Greater Fond du Lac recently hosted a ribbon cutting at Red Cabin at Green Acres to commemorate the new ownership.

Schuh has now moved to Colorado, but Rohlfs said he worked with them for the first several months, giving them a chance to establish themselves with customers as the new owners. 

The duo said the biggest surprise so far has been the support they’ve received from the public, especially their regulars.

“It’s amazing how they are so supportive of us taking over and continuing to be there for us,” Rohlfs said. 

What customers have come to expect
The new owners said they want to carry on the traditions of great food and superb hospitality that Red Cabin at Green Acres has become known for over the years.

Rohlfs said they’ve made relatively few changes to the old menu, but at the same time, they’ve brought back some old items and plans to introduce new specials and desserts in the future.

“When COVID-19 occurred, Dave had taken away the hard copy menus from the tables and, instead, went to paper menus that were disposable,” she said. “At that time, he had also taken a few of the items off the menu. But we have put the hardcover menus back out on the tables, and we brought back some of the popular items he had taken off.”

One of those items is the nut-crusted chicken – a fresh, boneless, marinated chicken breast rolled in seasonal spiced nut breading and seared until golden brown – which Rohlfs said has made a lot of customers happy.

Another returning item, Rohlfs said, is the pickled basket appetizer.

The pair has also brought back the loaded nachos, which are made with Red Cabin’s homemade queso and award-winning chili seasoning.

“Dave came up with the recipe for the seasoning,” Rohlfs said. “It won several awards in the Taste of Fond du Lac competitions when Dave was still the owner.”

She said the seasoning is a trade secret of Schuh’s, one that he guards, even from them.

“Dave left us boxes of it, but when we run out, we have to let Dave know, and he’ll get us some more,” she said. “People love it, and you can have it with the nachos, or you can just order a bowl of chili by itself or with your meal.”

Like many restaurants in Wisconsin, Rohlfs said Red Cabin also offers a Friday Fish Fry with traditional offerings, along with unique tastes and flavors, such as in its crab oscar, cod oscar and puffy fish taco.

Rohlfs said Red Cabin offers different weekly specials and nightly specials on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, and features a Sunday brunch from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

“A lot of people think it’s a buffet, but it is an itemized menu – we have different omelets people can order, different skillet-made dishes, pancakes, sandwiches and various ala carte items,” she said. “We have all sorts of options people can choose from.”

Michaelson and Rohlfs said they are also enjoying doing a variety of homemade desserts for their customers.

“We’ll keep introducing new specials and keep running new dinner and dessert specials,” Rohlfs said. “I know our customers look forward to our different desserts each week, so we’re planning on keeping that going for them.”

She said almost everything is homemade, but “we do bring some things in.”

“But, we strive for that homemade country comfort flavor with almost everything on our menu,” she said.

Private parties, catering and more
Red Cabin’s main dining room can hold 100 people.

In addition, Rohlfs said the establishment has a private lounge that can be reserved and rented out for all kinds of parties – be it a bridal shower, baby shower, retirement party, family reunion, etc.

The lounge, she said, can accommodate up to 50 people.  

Beyond that, Rohlfs said Red Cabin has a 10-acre property that can accommodate 500 people and be used for an outdoor wedding or other type of large gathering.

Tents are set up for the dinner and reception.

Rohlfs said Red Cabin had two weddings on the property last year and is looking forward to even more this year.

Hailey Rohlfs said they hope to host more weddings on the Red Cabin at Green Acres 10-acre property this summer. Submitted Photo

She said they anticipate to fill up quickly.

“We’ve already had many inquiries for this year, so we expect we’ll be busy,” she said. “People normally start coming to us about a year in advance. There’s a little red cabin that sits on the property by our pond, which is available for people to walk through during weddings or other events on the property. It’s cute and homey with one bedroom, one bathroom and a kitchen. That’s how it got the name Red Cabin at Green Acres.”

Michaelson and Rohlfs said they, as well as their 40-person staff, are also looking forward to expanding Red Cabin’s off-site catering operations.

“If people are looking for catering for their weddings, or some event off-site, we are happy to do that,” Rohlfs said. “We are a preferred caterer for Foundry 45 in Kewaskum. So, catering off-site is something we are looking forward to doing (more of) in 2024.”

Well worth the drive
Located at W2701 4th Street Road, (County Hwy T) east of Fond du Lac, Rohlfs said Red Cabin at Green Acres isn’t close to much of anything – but said it’s worth the trip.

“We’re out in the middle of nowhere, but we usually tell people we’re seven minutes east of Fond du Lac,” she said. “And it’s well worth the short drive. We are ‘country comforts with big city tastes’™ – like our slogan says.”

Red Cabin at Green Acres is open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sundays.

To learn more about Red Cabin at Green Acres, view the menu or learn about catering services, visit

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