You, Your Dog and a Cocktail

by July 12, 2011 at 10:00 am 1,368 0

DoubleTree Hotel DC, Borderstan, Luis Gomez Photos, doggy happy hour

The DoubleTree Hotel at 1515 Rhode Island Avenue NW is one of the locations of three weekly doggy happy hours in the neighborhood. (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Tori Tyree. Questions? Leave a comment or email Tori at [email protected].

Recently someone asked me what I thought about doggie happy hours in D.C. and I realized I had never actually been to one. In this part of Northwest D.C. — where dogs are sometimes substitute children — restaurants with patios have discovered that a night dedicated to your pooch (with drink specials) is a definite business builder.

So, I decided it was time to check one out for myself and headed to the DoubleTree Hotel at 1515 Rhode Island Avenue NW on a recent Thursday evening. The crowd was small, and in a gated patio, all the dogs were off leash. The bartenders knew all the dogs by name and brought them bags of dog treats before getting drinks for their two-legged companions.

There were Pit Bulls hanging out with little Cockapoos. An old Husky was checking to see if anyone had dropped any food, and a Terrier mix alerted the crowd about any newcomers.

Doggy Happy Hour, Borderstan, Luis Gomez Photos

Doggy Happy Hour on the DoubleTree patio on Rhode Island Avenue NW. (Luis Gomez Photos)

I had gone in kind of expecting a melee, but the dogs were really relaxed and, except for the occasional interest when the mini-sliders came fresh off the grill, the dogs rested or slept calmly next to their owners. It felt like I was in a living room with dogs that had grown up together.

It may be that not all doggy happy hours have this same feel, but I think the best way to introduce your dog to any new situation is to go check it out for yourself first. The same way each dog park has a certain energy, a doggy happy hour will be the same. Just be aware of the surroundings and check in with your dog whenever a new dog comes in to make sure the dynamic hasn’t changed.

As long as everyone is getting along, doggy happy hours are a great way to spend some quality time with your pups and your friends – and unwind at the end of a long day.

Doggy Happy Hours in Borderstan

Here are a couple more doggy happy hours in the area to check out besides the one on Thursdays (5 to 7 pm) at the DoubleTree:

  • Helix Lounge, 1430 Rhode Island Avenue NW (at Hotel Helix). The weekly happy hour is on Wednesdays, 5 to 7 pm. Portions of the proceeds go to the Washington Humane Society.
  • Larry’s Lounge, 1836 18th Street NW. The doggy happy hour is on Wednesdays, 6 to 8 pm. Doggie Style Bakery provides the treats, Larry’s makes the cocktails — a perfect combination. In the past, they have also joined the Washington Humane Society’s efforts to end animal cruelty and McGruff the Crime Dog has even made an appearance.


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