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Street Smarts

You've probably noticed a dog or two lounging on the patios of downtown restaurants (technically not allowed), or maybe a regular pup in your favorite brewery. Are dogs a deterrent or a bonus when picking a place to drink or dine? Hear what locals think, then see our review of Pub Dog, the state's first eatery where dogs are encouraged as legal guests.

click to enlarge Andrea Fuentes
  • Andrea Fuentes

Andrea Fuentes of downtown Colorado Springs is a writer and an accountant.

Are you comfortable eating in a restaurant that allows dogs? Yes, to some extent. I don't want them in my lap while I'm eating; however, that's never an issue for me in Colorado bars.

Are there any downsides to allowing dogs or other animals inside restaurants and bars? Sometimes it can be an issue with the different types of dogs that come. Some dogs are not as friendly or socialized.

Beyond dogs, what other animals could you see joining diners in a restaurant? I don't think that there's any other animal that's super feasible to bring along. Dogs are friendly with other animals and other people. They're adaptable.

Would you ever avoid a business because you know they allow pets? Absolutely not. I like the atmosphere it brings and the people a pet-friendly policy invites.

What rules or accommodations can business owners put in place to keep all patrons happy? I've seen a lot of places allow dogs only on the patio. If they are allowed indoors, it's places that don't serve food, such as breweries. I think as long as they keep a high standard of cleanliness, it works well. I also think the community is very aware of the struggles of having animals in an establishment and they do a good job of self-policing.

If you were an animal looking for a restaurant or bar, what kind of animal would you be, where would you go and why? I would be a dog in a brewery. They get all the love.

click to enlarge Cindy McAnally
  • Cindy McAnally

Cindy McAnally of the Westside is a systems engineer.

Would you bring your dog to a pet-friendly bar? Yes, but my dogs have been gone for a while now.

Are you comfortable eating in a restaurant that allows dogs? Yes, I am. If they're well-behaved and just lying there, it's fine. Colorado is a dog-friendly state, so having them around is pretty normal.

Are there any downsides to allowing dogs or other animals inside restaurants and bars? I think one downside might be people's attitudes about seeing dogs in the restaurant. They could choose to be upset about the animals being there. But, if it says "pet-friendly," you have to expect pets will be there.

What rules or accommodations can business owners put in place to keep all patrons happy? Business owners should make a rule that they have the right to evict someone if their pet is not well-mannered or picking fights with other animals or patrons.

If you were an animal looking for a restaurant or bar, what kind of animal would you be, where would you go and why? I think it would be funny to be a frog in a French restaurant hopping around like you escaped the kitchen.

click to enlarge Kirk Crowe
  • Kirk Crowe

Kirk Crowe of the Eastside works in construction sales.

Would you bring your dog to a pet-friendly bar? Absolutely. My wife and I are empty nesters now, so our dogs fill that extra time. We like to take them along with us as much as we can ... we look specifically for places that are pet-friendly so we can bring ours along.

Are there any downsides to allowing dogs or other animals inside restaurants and bars? Occasionally, you might have an aggressive dog, but that happens so rarely that it's not an issue. We spend a lot of time in dog-friendly establishments and I really don't see any issues come up. On the rare occasion they do, the owners are great about stepping out with their dog and stopping the problem.

Beyond dogs, what other animals could you see joining diners in a restaurant? I can't think what other animal you could take. Dogs are just so compatible with people. They adapt to whatever environment you bring them into and follow your lead. Plus, well-socialized dogs get along great with other pets.

Would you ever avoid a business because you know they allow pets? No, never.

What rules or accommodations can business owners put in place to keep all patrons happy? Provide a dog-walking area and enforce the rule to clean up after your own dog. If you don't allow dogs inside, provide shade and water or an area to protect them from the elements.

If you were an animal looking for a restaurant or bar, what kind of animal would you be, where would you go and why? I'd be a dog in a brewery. They've got it made. My dogs know the word brewery more than the words sit, stay, or heel. They love being with us, other humans, and other dogs.

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