Bark & Brew offers dogs and their humans a place to unwind
By Ben Rodgers
SUAMICO – A new bar here has gone to the dogs, literally.
Bark & Brew, located in the Urban Edge Towne Centre is the first pooch friendly establishment in the area.
“I wanted it to to be a place where dogs could bring their humans,” said Tara Brunette, owner.
At Bark & Brew there’s always a dog bed in sight, water bowls are never empty and canines can munch on homemade, healthy snacks.
Dog owners can also wet their whistles with close to 30 beers, local wines and signature cocktails.
“It’s not uncommon to see a dog on a barstool or a high rise table,” Brunette said.
It’s a simple idea, dogs and their owners come in, the dogs can roam around and people can enjoy a beverage assured their dogs are being taken care of.
The most important people in this operation are the dog butlers, Brunette has 12 of them on staff.
Dog butlers clean up any doggie waste, monitor the water bowls, watch each exits and entrances and make sure dogs avoid altercations.
“Our goal is for dogs to be happy, safe, come here with energy and leave tired, and also for humans to come and relax, watch your dog and have a drink or two,” Brunette said.
This project has been in the works for Brunette for about two and half years.
Not only did she have to start a business, but start one where dogs are encouraged. As a result zoning and permits took some time.
“I wanted it to be not your typical bar,” she said. “I didn’t want the sports bar feel or the downtown feel. I wanted a comfy, cozy hangout where you and your dog can be together.”
Brunette’s three dogs, Charlie and Reese, both labs, and Kenneth a chihuahua mix had their say in Bark & Brew.
“They’re spoiled. We love them to death and they had their input in the place too,” she said.
The dogs’ input included testing treats served at the bone bar.
All treats are homemade from natural ingredients. Top sellers include turkey and spinach, liver bites, and bacon cheddar biscuits.
While no human food is served, people can order or bring their own to Bark & Brew.
In the warmer months Brunette has a large, monitored, fenced in outdoor play area for dogs to run around outside.
Although she just opened last month Brunette said the response has been positive.
“There’s probably 30 to 50 dogs that my staff and I know by name as soon as they walk in the door,” she said.
Because the space is for dogs, there is a lot of room for them. It can only hold 150 people, a limit they have gotten close to numerous times.
“The whole place is a dog play area, there’s nowhere they can’t go,” she said.
For the winter, Bark & Brew is open from 1 to 10 p.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, from 1 to 11 p.m. on Fridays, from 11 a.m. to midnight on Saturdays and from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Sundays.
More information can be found on Facebook by following Bark & Brew, on Twitter @bark_brew or on Instagram @barknbrew. There is also a website, barknbrewwi.com.