Draper Outdoor Shades Article 1To make the most of their space, the owners enclosed the Cow’s back patio with fabric and plastic outdoor shades. This allowed them to add seating for about 30 customers.

It was not an unbridled success.

“We were dealing with cracked plastic windows on the old shades due to our extreme weather swings,” said David Lind, who, with wife Sherri, co-owns the restaurant. “These old fabric and plastic shades were an eyesore with all the repairs. Not to mention we had to manually roll them up and down.”

Add to that damage from a burglary and the Linds needed a new solution.

“As a restaurant located in the foothills of Morrison, Colorado, we needed something that could withstand high winds, slanting torrential rains, and, of course, snow,” Lind said. “All while making guests feel warm, dry, and safe.”

The solution suggested by Draper® and dealer FutureGuard® was the FlexShade® ZIP.

Draper Outdoor Shades Article 3The wind tunnel tested ZIP offers unique side channels that ensure a sealed enclosure for existing garages, porches, patios, pool houses, and outdoor commercial food service areas. Several units were installed by Ace Awnings.

“The shades—the weather barriers—are super beneficial. We are able to stay open year-round because of them,” said Amanda Cameron, assistant general manager. “In the summertime, any time we need shade we can put them down. In the wintertime, when it’s super cold, we leave them down and we get this patio heated up really nice.”

A zipper detail is heat welded to the fabric and runs through a channel on each side of the shades. The ZIP approach securely retains the fabric and without gaps, so the shade resists rain, wind, extreme temperatures, and insects.

Several outdoor rated fabrics from American weaver Phifer® are available with the ZIP shades. Two of the most popular are TuffScreen® and Suntex®, based on the planned usage. Tuffscreen is preferred for insect protection, while Suntex provides more broad based weather protection.

Draper Outdoor Shades Article 2David Lind agrees the upgrade to FlexShade ZIP shades makes a difference.

“These electronic shades proved to be far superior. We have had huge wind, rain, and snowstorms and virtually nothing penetrates the micro screen,” he said.

“The screens allow guests to see through them in an effort to keep the beautiful Colorado landscape within sight. Customers are protected on our patio and, with a gas heater in the corner of the patio, the ambient temperature allows us to utilize the space in temperatures above 20°F. This is square footage that no restaurant can afford to vacate.”

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