{August 30, 2011}   Dog Day Afternoon

When there’s a hint of Fall in the air,  it’s only natural to want to spend these gorgeous days Downtown. And…if you are a dog owner like me, it’s only natural to want to take your canine companion with you. But which Downtown businesses welcome Fido and which ones don’t?

Greenville is a very dog-friendly city. With water dishes placed strategically along Main Street and plastic bag dispensers  available almost everywhere, Downtown Greenville can be a pup’s paradise. With a little planning, you and your dog can share a happy, fun-filled day together.

Perhaps the happiest place in DTGVL… for dogs anyway… is Canine Corner.  This half-acre, fenced-in dog park is sort of like Disneyland for dogs. Located in Cleveland Park, near the stables and Cleveland Park Animal Hospital, the park provides plenty of room for Fido to run off-leash and play with his furry friends.  Visitors are greeted by the statue of a friendly Great  Dane entitled “High Four”, created by artist (and dog lover) Louise Peterson.  Dogs of all sizes and breeds are welcome, but aggressive dogs, females in heat and puppies under four months old are not allowed and canine visitors must have current vaccination tags. The park is well-maintained with a mulch surface and plastic bag recepticles for easy clean up.

Another location that is popular with pooches is The Barkery Bistro.  This unique boutique caters strictly to the four-legged set.  After a leisurely stroll down Main Street, pups and their people love to stop in for an array of tasty treats – from “pupcakes” to Bowser Beer. But, be warned, some of it looks so good, you’ll be tempted to take a taste. For a truly tail-wagging good time, check out the Barkery’s monthly “Yappy Hour”, which benefits local rescue shelters.

After some rambunctious play and a belly full of treats, Fido is only too happy to curl up under a table while you sample Downtown’s diverse culinary delights. Many Downtown restaurants happily welcome dogs, provided they are leashed and mind their manners. Along the “main drag” of Main Street, there are many dog-friendly dining options.  Blue Ridge Brewing, Trio, Coffee Underground, Handi Indian Cuisine, Sharkey’s Pub, Guadalajara, Cantinflas, Luna Rosa, Barley’s Tap Room, Wild Wing Cafe, The Cazbah and Soby’s all boast outdoor dining that welcomes your canine companion. If you care to venture further north on Main Street, Northgate Soda Shop also has pet-friendly dining options. Not to be outdone, the West End also offers many opportunities to bring along your doggie dinner date. Mellow Mushroom has an out-of-the-way outdoor patio that is perfect for pooches. The patio is rather small and may cause large dogs to feel crowded so smaller dogs are recommended.  Smoke on the Water, Coffee to a Tea, Saffron’s Sidewalk Cafe and Overlook Grill also have Fido-friendly alfresco dining and, as an added bonus, are in close proximity to Falls Park for an after-dinner romp.

Spending the day Downtown with your dog can make a fun filled day even more so. Some venues may have restrictions on the size or breed of the dog, so it would be wise to call ahead. And, on particularly nice days, other dog owners will likely have the same idea, so you may have to wait for outdoor tables at select restaurants. But with a little extra planning and a little patience, a day trip Downtown with your dog can be a rewarding experience for all.


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