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.
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.