It was a warm but nice afternoon on Monday when Mayor Annise Parker, Houston city council member Ed Gonzalez and other city employees decamped to Ziggy's Bar & Grill in Montrose to celebrate the opening of the first dog-friendly restaurant patio in Houston.
The mayor was also joined by Paws on Patios founder Patrick Walsh, with Lucy, the French spaniel who inspired his mission to change the ordinance and Ziggy's owner Kevin Strickland with his teacup schnauzer named Beau.
Parker said that she grew up with Dobermans, and that though she hasn't had the heart or the time to get another dog after her partner's dog died last year, "there is definitely another dog in my future."
"Paws on Patios did not need to persuade us that it was a good idea," said Parker. "It truly was just a matter of getting it on the agenda and working it into a lot of other activities that had taken priority, and we wanted to make sure we got it done by the end of the year, in time for fall patio season."
Parker said that she grew up with Dobermans, and that though she hasn't had the heart or the time to get another dog after her partner's dog died last year, "there is definitely another dog in my future." She added that for people who dislike or are allergic to dogs, the pooch-friendly patios will be clearly marked and there is always the option to eat inside.
"It's been done in other cities, so we thought it was long overdue here," said councilmember Gonzalez, who credited Walsh for his advocacy. "It's been great to see how government can work, how we can be responsive and review existing ordinances and find ways to make it friendlier for pets."
Ziggy's is hoping to capitalize on its dog-friendly status by holding a special pup event in October.