Dog parks are fundamentally social places. Not just for dogs, but for their people, too. Everybody who is at a dog park is obviously a dog person. People who go to dog parks have at least one thing in common - they are dog people. And not just people who like dogs. These are people who go out of their way to make their dogs happy. These people are a little bit crazy. And so are you.
From your dog's point of view, it doesn't take much to have a good dog park. Open space, plenty of scents to smell, some other doggies to play with, some water, and they are happy. People, of course, need more. People need things like fences and benches, plenty of poop bags, and some shade. But wouldn't it be nice if there was something more, like maybe beer, television, or people games?
Melissa Barton, of Austin, Texas, agrees with you. So in 2013, Melissa opened the Dog House Drinkery, a combination pub and dog park. The pub offers wine, beer, and sodas, as well as TV and pub games. On weekends, a number of food trucks show up for hungry patrons. The dog park has open-air seating, which means there are tables inside and a patio outside.
The outside seats have umbrellas to help combat the Texas sun. You will not see kids in the bar, but you will see dogs. The bar is actually surrounded by the dog park. The dog park around the Dog House Drinkery is large, nearly three acres. It's divided into sections. The main dog park is half an acre and has lots of trees and picnic tables with umbrellas, where patrons can enjoy their beverages and let their dogs play.
The park is largely covered in gravel. There are mature trees throughout the park. There are plenty of toys and water for the dogs, everything from small bowls to large troughs. There are also plenty of poop bags and trash cans. In addition, the Dog House Drinkery provides monitors to keep an extra eye out for accidents and to make sure that no dogs are misbehaving.
Attached to the main park is a separate section for dogs under 30 pounds. However, older and/or disabled dogs are welcome, too, provided you let the park monitors know ahead of time. There is also a large section that can be reserved for adoptions, training sessions, parties, and other special events. Of course, the bar itself is open to dogs, but they must be leashed.
The Dog House Drinkery does require a membership. The membership fee is $75 a year, but a day pass can be purchased for $5 a dog. The Dog House Drinkery is a great place to be a dog or to be a dog person. With any luck, their business model will catch on, and you will be able to find a dog bar near you.