Doggy Diners: More Local Eateries Are Letting Customers Bring Their Pooches
Some area businesses have found a unique way to bring in more customers: invite dogs.
Damenti’s Restaurant in Sugarloaf Twp. is the latest restaurant to go dog-friendly.
The restaurant is offering a free dinner for dogs on its east patio when customers order beverages.
“Who doesn’t want to have a cold beverage with a dog at your side?” asked Damenti’s owner Kevin McDonald. “There are only a select few restaurants that cater to your dog. Why shouldn’t your best friend get the same treatment?”
Only beverages are offered to patrons on the patio, McDonald said, but food is available in the dining room or bar area and he plans to offer food service outside in the future.
McDonald said each dog can have a daily creation. All dog food is made from human grade ingredients from Damenti’s menu.
“There will be no food waste from Damenti’s which is good for everybody, especially the dogs,” McDonald said.
Recently, therapy dogs came to the restaurant’s patio, where they enjoyed food, the view and weather, McDonald said.
Dogs who come to the patio need to be leashed, he said. Those dining in the restaurant without their dogs can take home a doggy bag, he said.
A number of other area restaurants also permit dogs at the outdoor tables on their patios.
Pet-friendly restaurants in Luzerne County that welcome dogs at their outdoor tables are advertised on bringfido.com and include Cork Bar & Restaurant, Franklin’s and TGI Friday’s in Wilkes-Barre, Breaker Brewing Company and Mizu Sushi in Wilkes-Barre Twp., Mariano’s La Puccia and American Grill in Exeter, Dugan’s Pub in Luzerne, Canteen 900 in Forty Fort, Pierce Street Deli in Kingston, Cusat’s Cafe in Hazleton and Valley Pizza & Subs in Sugarloaf Twp.
Carolyn Saporito, manager of Cork Bar & Restaurant on Madison Street, said the restaurant has been extending an open invitation for leashed dogs on the patio for more than 10 years.
“We have doggie burgers and grilled chicken for dogs,” she said.
Cork Bar & Restaurant recently held its annual “Dog Days of Summer” fundraiser and there was a great turnout, Saporito said. Twenty percent of sales from the four-day fundraising event were donated to the SPCA of Luzerne County.
The website bringfido.com brings in a number of travelers who are looking for pet-friendly restaurants, she said.
Chris Miller, who owns Breaker Brewing with Mark Lehman, said they started allowing dogs on the patio after they got a few phone calls from people asking if they could bring their pets. Many customers, including travelers, bring their dogs, he said.
Miller has a West Highland terrier and when he went to the beach with his family, he said they looked for places that are pet-friendly and others do that as well.
People like that they can come to Breaker Brewing for craft beer and food and bring their dogs as well on the patio in the summer where they have dog treats, bowls for water and chew toys, he said.
Restaurant patios are not the only place that dogs have been permitted as the culture has become more dog-friendly.
In addition to pet stores, some other stores also allow people to bring in dogs.
Steve Salazar, spokesman for Lowe’s home improvement stores, said the nationwide pet policy allows “well-behaved, leashed, harnessed or carried service animals and pets in our stores.”
He said store’s managers have the right to ask an owner to remove their pet for health or safety reasons, however.
“Lowe’s goal is to provide a safe and enjoyable place to shop,” Salazar said. “Owners are responsible for the actions of their pets and must be in full control of them at all times.”
Home Depot spokesman Stephen Holmes said it’s up to the individual store managers about whether or not to allow pets.
When it comes to service dogs, the Food and Drug Administration requires stores to allow disabled employees, customers and other business visitors to bring them into their stores.
According to the law, the disabled person must be in control of the dog at all times and the store can restrict the dog’s access so it is only allowed in parts of the store where its activities don’t pose a health or safety hazard.
BringFido.com provides information for travelers about recommendations about outdoor restaurants, dog beaches, off-leash parks and other animal attractions in more than 10,000 cities around the world as well as pet policies at airlines and hotels.
The website provides reviews, pet policy information and online reservations at more than 25,000 pet-friendly hotels through a partnership with Travelocity. Information also is available on thousands of bed and breakfasts, vacation rentals and campgrounds that welcome pets in 150 countries worldwide.
BringFido has a toll-free number, 877-411-FIDO, that dog owners can call if they need assistance locating a pet-friendly hotel, an animal hospital or a restaurant that allows dogs to sit at its outdoor tables.
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