Paws about town

Houston dining's finally gone to the dogs: 33 restaurants now allow paws a year after ordinance

Houston dining's finally gone to the dogs: 33 restaurants now allow paws a year after ordinance

parker ziggy's dogs
Mayor Parker and Paws on Patios founder Pat Walsh dote on Walsh's dog, Lucy. Photo by Sarah Rufca
Dogs, patio, Barnaby's Cafe
A specialty coffee at Gratifi Kitchen and Bar. Courtesy of Facebook/Paws on Patios
Dogs, patio, Barnaby's Cafe
A welcoming sign at Barnaby's Woodway location. Courtesy of Facebook/Paws on Patios
Dogs, patio, Laika, Baby Barnaby's
The author's dog, Laika, waits for a table at Baby Barnaby's in Montrose. Photo by Julie Knutson
parker ziggy's dogs
Dogs, patio, Barnaby's Cafe
Dogs, patio, Barnaby's Cafe
Dogs, patio, Laika, Baby Barnaby's

With the dog days of summer behind us (and fall too . . .  after all, this is Houston), our canine companions certainly seem to have livelier gaits, keener senses and a generally renewed interest in the great outdoors.

While locales like the Boneyard and the West Alabama Ice House stand as fixtures for Houston hounds-about-town, September 2011 marked the addition of the city’s first dog-friendly patio at Ziggy’s Bar & Grill — now Gratifi Kitchen + Bar — after a successful lobbying effort by the grassroots organization Paws on Patios.

“For a meager $110 permanent  permit — significantly more affordable than many other cities  — [restaurants] can instantly attract new customers."

In the intervening year, dozen of more restaurants have opted for city permits that allow dogs on patios. In fact, according to Paws on Patios, 33 area establishments now welcome customers accompanied by canines, permitted they dine al fresco (click here and scroll down to see the full roster of approved restaurants).

The list includes a range of options, from the upscale Hugo’s to more casual venues like Natachee’s Supper ‘n Punch and Barnaby’s Cafe.

Paws on Patios founder Pat Walsh sees much room for wider adoption of the city’s dog-friendly permit, especially when Houston is compared to other Texas towns such as Dallas and Austin.

“If dog owners would like to see their favorite bar or restaurant get the dog-friendly permit, they should talk to the restaurant,” Walsh says.

“For a meager $110 permanent (not annual) permit — significantly more affordable than many other cities — they can instantly attract new customers. It's a great way to increase revenue and make Houston a more dog-friendly and walking-friendly place.”

For more information on the city permit and on Paws on Patios, visit the organization's Facebook page page.