Dog-friendly venues populate the United States, but a new canine-themed venture is coming to Denver, Colorado, before the year’s end. Happy Dog Park and Taproom will be the first off-leash dog bar of its kind in the Mile High City.
A new gathering space for dogs and drinkers
Layton Judd and his partner Louise Fahys are the humans behind the canine hangout coming to the Jefferson Park neighborhood. They were inspired by other dog-friendly bars 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,” Fahys told Denver 7.
It’s taken months to move from dream to reality, however. First, the owners had to secure the right zoning in order to start construction. Next, they’ll have to outfit the venue with self-serve beer taps, TVs, and a cafe. Finally, they’ll prepare the 4,000-square-foot dog park outside. A 6-foot safety fence will surround the area.
“You’re going to be able to have a drink back here with your dog,” Judd said. “So you’re gonna be able to chill out in Adirondack chairs and just have a good time.”
Business owners put guidelines in place
Happy Dog Park and Taproom is not a free-for-all, however. Before bringing their pups to the taproom, pet parents will need to upload their dog’s vaccination records with a QR code. Then, staff will review the documents. Once the canine members are on site, “Wooferees” will supervise their activity.
“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,” Fahys said.
Out of respect for the locals, there will be rules around the dog bar’s operations.
“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.
Interest building in Denver’s first off-leash dog bar and park
Happy Dog Park and Taproom is on schedule to open in December. But dog parents eager to get in on the ground floor can pre-register on the business’ website.
Dog parents will need to purchase daily, monthly, or yearly admittance into the bar and park. Prices are still up in the air, but the business’ owners estimate anywhere between $15 for a one-day pass to around $300 for an annual membership.
Even with prices undecided, interest is already building in the Denver dog bar and park.
“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,” Judd said.