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Wag those tails: New dog café planned for Hamilton

Posted: September 20, 2016

My Dog’s Café and Bar planning to open in November

CBC News Posted: Sep 18, 2016 12:06 PM ET Last Updated: Sep 18, 2016 1:41 PM ET

Wendy Perron plans to open a dog-friendly cafe on Locke Street this November.

Wendy Perron plans to open a dog-friendly cafe on Locke Street this November. (Amanda Grant/CBC)

Dog lovers, rejoice — you should soon have a new place to relax with your four-legged family members.

My Dog’s Café and Bar has a simple premise, says owner Wendy Perron: to give people a place to grab a bite to eat or something to drink, without the guilt of having to tie up your dog outside and deal with those sad eyes staring back at you.

“Even if I leave him for an hour I feel guilty,” Perron said. “I’ve had dogs my whole life, and I just find you can’t bring them in anywhere.”

That’s why the Hamilton native is planning to open a café on Locke Street this fall that’s dog friendly, joining Munchie’s Barkery on Upper Gage as pet friendly restaurants in the city.

Owners would be able to come in with their dogs, and dog lovers who don’t have pets could also hang out among the wagging tails.

Perron is intentionally cagey about the exact address of the business, saying she wants to get all of her ducks in a row (or pups, as it were) in terms of permits before making that announcement.

She is planning to open in the first week of November, with plans for a liquor licence further down the road.

There are plenty of health and safety hurdles to go through in a situation like this, she says, but adds that the city has been very helpful with that process.

“Basically, you just can’t keep food and dogs too close.”

As for the food, the café will predominantly offer coffee and baked goods to start, she says — and dog treats, of course.

This isn’t a situation where shelter dogs will be housed on site, like with cats at Toronto’s cat café, which ended up embroiled in controversyafter accusations of mistreating their animals surfaced.

Instead, it will just be a haven for people and their own dogs. That seems to suit Perron just fine.

“Dog lovers are pretty special,” she said.