Are you planning a date with your pet? Here are some places you can head to
They make offices and homes a happy place, and it’s been proven that they can also reduce stress. However, seldom can you plan a lunch date with your pet at a restaurant or café. However, that’s changing pretty quickly with several eateries and pubs in the city opening their doors to them. Pankil Shah welcomed pets with the launch of his restaurant, Woodside Inn, Andheri (W) in 2012. Over the years, several restobars such as Doolally Taproom and Hoppipola have followed suit. The latest include Butters, Fort, and Tea Trails, Vile Parle (E).
The engaging factor
Why are restaurateurs increasingly inviting pets in? Chingy Patel, owner and chef, Butters, feels pets add cheer to any space, and Avik Chatterjee, head of innovation and new formats at Hoppipola, seconds the thought. Chaterjee says, “When we launched the restobar, we wanted people to reconnect with their emotional side. We tried to find different ways to keep them away from their smartphones and other technology, and we thought making the space pet-friendly was a great idea.”
Restaurateurs have also noticed that patrons frequent the space just to play with cats and dogs. “For instance, when we organised a pet party a month ago, five families without pets showed up for the event,” says Nishant Joshi, founder of the pet-friendly restaurant ZooBar, Vile Parle (W).
It’s a date
A growing number of eateries in the city are also hosting pet parties. Besides ZooBar, a restaurant called The House, Andheri (W), organises parties where cats and dogs can participate in games. Tea Trails, which turned pet-friendly two months ago, conducted a workshop titled Kids and Dogs last Sunday (April 30). As part of this workshop, children will be taught how to play, interact and be safe around dogs. Interestingly, ZooBar goes the extra mile with its menu for dogs, which comprises dishes such as Vegetable Woof Woof, Chicken Woof Woof, Paneer Steak, and Cakes On Occasion.
Cause for inconvenience?
While places such as Woodside Inn, Tea Trails, Su Casa (Bandra West) and The House enjoy an al fresco seating, a couple of restobars such as Doolally Taproom (Bandra West, Kemps Corner, and Colaba), and Butters do not have separate outdoor sections for pets.
“Customers, who are not fond of pets, always have the option of sitting indoors,” says Suren Joshi, owner, Su Casa. However, restaurateurs who do not have the luxury of an al fresco space, too, believe that pets are the least of their worries. “The dogs are well-domesticated and well taken care of by their owners, and are on a leash,” says Prashant Issar, co-founder, Madeira and Mime.
Joshi, on the other hand, has witnessed customers getting inconvenienced sometimes. He says, “Well, those who are not fortunate enough [to have a separate section for pets] can only hope that their customers are pet lovers on most days.”