Denver dogs will soon have a new place to run wild while their owners relax over burgers and beers as Mutts Canine Cantina, a business that combines a private dog park with a restaurant and bar, is expanding to Denver.
Felice Halliday, a Denver resident with hospitality industry experience, recently announced she has reached an agreement with the Dallas-based chain of restaurants and dog parks to open three locations in Denver.
The partners are currently looking for sites in Denver, with a focus on south Denver. However, further expansion to Boulder, Fort Collins, and Colorado Springs could follow.
Halliday, a self-proclaimed dog lover who recently relocated to Denver from Dallas, says she became interested in bringing Mutts to Denver after noticing there weren’t many places like it in the city.
To her, the need for such a venue seemed obvious, particularly given how many residences in urban neighborhoods like LoHi and LoDo lack sufficient yards (or even a yard at all) for dogs to run around in. Halliday also found that both she and many of her friends struggled to tend to their dogs and make dinner each night during the week while fitting in time for getting together with friends.
“Having somewhere like Mutts where you can drain your dog’s energy in 20 minutes while relaxing and having a cold beer after a hard day sure makes it a little easier,” Halliday says.
The way Mutts works: people sign up for one of three membership plans (daily, monthly, or annual), which will gain them access to Mutts. Once there, dogs can run around and play in Mutts’ dog park overseen by staffers while people eat and drink at the restaurant and bar.
The food menu at the existing Dallas locations mostly consists takes of typical American fare, including burgers, fries, fried pickles, and a chicken sandwich topped with Szechuan peppercorn sauce. Drink options include frozen drinks, boozy and non-boozy milkshakes, wines, and beer.
There’s also canine friendly fare for furry friends, including bite-size hot dogs and “pupsicles” made with beef broth, peanut butter, and an edible bone.
Mutts, which opened its first location in Dallas in 2013, is also in the process of opening new locations in Austin and Allen, Texas, a suburb of Dallas.
Denver does have one existing bar and dog park: Glendale’s Watering Bowl at 5411 Leetsdale Drive.
Another similar restaurant and bar with a dog park, the Bark Bar in Berkeley closed in 2015 after a quick year of operation, but not before it became the target of backlash from neighbors in what Halliday will probably want to consider a cautionary tale spelling out the potential challenges of bringing such a business to Denver.