DENVER — There is no shortage of dog-friendly patios in Denver, but if owners want to have their dogs run free while at a restaurant or bar, they are out of luck. But that is about to change with the opening of a off-leash dog bar expected to open by end of the year.
When Layton Judd and his partner Louise Fahys moved to Denver, they were surprised to see there wasn't anything like that open. They had visited dog bars in other cities across the country.
"We just kind of fell in love with the concept because it was great to have dogs off-leash. The dog seemed so happy, the owner seemed happy. There was a sense of community," said Fahys.
After months of working alongside the City of Denver to get the right zoning and codes in place to pull it off properly, construction on their Happy Dog Park and Taproom can finally begin.
"It's the first one to be open from start to finish for Denver. There's been others that have come in and opened up, and then added a dog park. So there has been a precedent set so that we thank them for that," said Judd of similar other businesses in Denver that have since closed down.
The space will be equipped with a cafe, self-serve beer taps, and TVs inside. Outside will be a dog-friendly patio that leads right to the 4,000-square-foot dog park.
"You're going to be able to have a drink back here with your dog. So you're gonna be able to chill out in Adirondack chairs and just have a good time," said Judd.
There will be a six-foot fence around the park for safety. There will also be certain rules enforced to minimize any sound nuisance for the neighborhood.
"We're only going to be open till 8:00 at night, meaning the park itself. The taproom and restaurant will be open later, but the park won't be open after 8:00 at night," said Judd.
Once Happy Dog is open, owners can upload their dog's vaccination records using a QR code. Once the documents are reviewed, they can enjoy the space. There will also be so-called "Wooferees" supervising the dogs.
"Somebody out in the back, that's really watching the dogs, you know, noticing what kind of signs they might have, if one's going to be a little bit aggressive. And then taking care of that," said Fahys.
Before their planned opening in December, they are letting interested customers pre-register on their website.
They said the demand for this type of business is already high.
"To bring the community in, to be able to have a place to go without the fear of anything, and letting your dogs be in a safe environment. That's really what it's all about," said Judd.
The co-owners are still ironing out the final pricing. There will be options for a daily, monthly or yearly fee.
They are considering a possible range of $15 for a day visit, up to around $300 for a yearly membership.
Happy Dog Park and Taproom will be located at 2850 W 26th Ave, Denver, CO 80211.