When I discovered the Dog Bar in the NODA arts district of Charlotte, NC, I was excited, to say the least. Two of my favorite things – dogs and beer -could finally come together! It’s a dog lover’s dream!
From the outside, the Dog Bar looks unremarkable. But once you take a closer look, you notice a tall white fence surrounding the building and a bone-shaped sign affixed to the roof.
Entering this dog compound is a delicate process. The entrance boasts two doors with a small holding area between the first and the second. The idea is that you should be in the holding area with the first door closed behind you before opening the second door that leads into the bar. This prevents any eager pups from escaping.
For the most part, bar-goers are good about keeping their dogs away from the doors when people are entering.
Once inside, a pack of eager pups will rush you and your pooch. If your dog is smaller, I recommend carrying them in – the larger dogs can be overwhelming.
The first thing you’ll notice is the green turf beneath your feet. And it’s a good thing it’s there – a lot of dogs drop their payloads without warning. Dog bags are available for cleanup, though, and a nearby hose is available for particularly messy jobs. You’d be surprised how clean the place actually stays, however, and the staff does a great job of enforcing the cleanup rules.
Upon entering, there is an outdoor area with plenty of seating. Tall benches are conveniently placed around the perimeter and a bar with stools is situated in the center. To the right is a concrete play area with some dog agility equipment and plastic pools that are filled during the warmer months.
Walk forward and you enter the main bar area. The first thing you’ll probably notice are the resident dogs, owned by the bartenders, sleeping on top of the bar. They’re very friendly, but don’t mess with their stuff- they mean business!
By now, you probably want a drink, and you’ll be happy to know that the dog bar is, in fact, a real bar- they’re fully stocked just like any other place in town. The prices are reasonable, too. My beer was $4.50 and my girlfriend’s Vodka and Cranberry, $5.00. Not bad, considering the Dog Bar is located in the trendy NODA arts district.
Make sure you grab your drink quickly, however; there are various dogs walking the top of the bar at any given time- and most of them really like beer! But serving alcohol to dogs under the age of three is strictly prohibited, and offenders are relegated to the bar floor. The Dog Bar is the undisputed winner of dog-loving entertainment in Charlotte. Reasonably priced alcohol, fun people, and awesome dogs all packed into one place. We’ll be visiting again.