It Was a Bark and Warm-y Night

With longer, warmer days upon us, leisurely strolls and patio dining are sure to be late spring and early summer activities that many of us will enjoy. It’s also likely that if you’re a dog owner you’ll want your best friend to accompany you. Whether you’re in the mood for BBQ, a burger, a sip of wine or just a cup of Joe, I’ve picked a few places where both you and your four-legged friend will be welcomed. 

Let’s start here in the West End: Bar Louie, in the Short Pump Town Center (11788 West Broad St.) allows you to bring your pup and enjoy their varied menu. While you can’t bring the dog into the restaurant in order to access the patio, there is a direct outside patio entrance.

Just beyond Bar Louie, Carytown Burger & Fries Short Pump (200 Town Center West) welcomes pets on their patio. And Deep Run Roadhouse at 12379 Gayton Road also offers a pet friendly patio, although you’ll need to order at the counter inside. I’m sure Muttsy will be happy to wait outside for a chance to enjoy some of the area’s best barbecue.

Cattura on Grove located at 5811 Grove Avenue welcomes four legged companions to accompany their human types for those crisp, chilly springtime evenings by the fireplace. If you’re in the mood for flatbreads and wine and an all-around good time, you and Spot will be happy here.

Your Pekingese will feel very welcomed on the patio at the relatively new Beijing on Grove at 5710 Grove Avenue. And, If you and your Corgi enjoy shopping for fine wines or craft beers, head on in to Corks & Kegs at 7110 Patterson Avenue. Your pet will enjoy meeting theirs. 

For more pet-friendly dining options, head into the city. Take Fido and enjoy the patio at Boulevard Burger and Brew, (1300 North Boulevard). From there, you and Fifi can meander on down the Boulevard and catch a Flying Squirrels game on one of their “Bark in the Park” nights during the season. Director of broadcasting, marketing and media, Jay Burnham says, “We’re thrilled to be able to provide a ‘FUNN’ safe space for all kinds of pups! Every Monday home game is dedicated to dogs with giveaways and dog-friendly promotions.

Head south on the Boulevard and hit the shops as well as some excellent restaurants in Carytown, one of the city’s most pet-welcoming districts. Home Sweet Home (3433 W. Cary St.) can delight your senses with all things grilled cheese. Or if you and your Chow Chow are in the mood for authentic Thai chow, visit the patio at Mom’s Siam (2811 W. Cary). Most of the stores in Carytown are very dog friendly. 

On any given Saturday morning you can find many of your retail and grocery needs at the super funky South of the James Market (SOJ) in Forest Hill Park. This producers-only market offers everything from fruits, and vegetables to meat, dairy products and eggs. You and your Bordeaux may have to wait in line a bit to enjoy Mrs. Yoder’s freshly made sourdough doughnuts, a perennial favorite at SOJ. You and your furry friends can shop together for apparel, pottery, photography, jewelry and more …all handmade by local artisans. Plus, enjoy coffee and breakfast? Sign me up. 

Perhaps your English Pointer can direct you to Stony Point Fashion Park (9200 Stony Point Parkway), which offers a delightful dog-friendly shopping environment, in a park-like atmosphere featuring beautiful fountains and local architectural features. There, you’ll find some of the most sought after retailers and restaurants in Metro Richmond.

Finally, if you seek something special for your pup, you both can go shopping at the Lora Robins Gift Shop in the SPCA, located at 2519 Hermitage Road. The shop offers many wonderful gifts for pets and pet lovers. Your purchases directly benefit orphaned pets in their shelter. The SPCA Calendar of Events page at their website can keep you updated on pet-friendly events including local restaurant’s SPCA nights where a portion of the proceeds are donated to the shelter to keep all the animals in their care happy and healthy. That should make both you and your furry friend very happy.