No More Dogs In Bars? Department of Health Cracks Down on Pups in Pubs

via Park Slope Stoop
via Park Slope Stoop

If you have a dog in this city, it’s nice to have a place to take them and relax indoors, away from the park or the dog gyms or the dog hostels or whatever else is specifically catered to dogs these days. There are a couple bars in Brooklyn that have an explicity dog-friendly policy, so you can kick back with a pint and your (LEASHED! Don’t be that dude) pup and maybe some friends and their dogs too. I can see why this would be a problem if you were allergic, or if the bar was serving food and you’d rather not have dogs in the mix, but in most of these places, the addition of dogs makes the atmosphere feel like the living room of a good friend. Basically, if I had it my way, every bookstore or library or cafe would have a resident cat and every bar would have a well-behaved, fluffy dog. But the New York City Health Department? Yeah, it doesn’t see it that way.

Park Slope bar The Gate, one of the the best pup pubs in the borough, got a visit from a health inspector who slapped the place with a fine, Park Slop Stoop first reported. The bar has allowed dogs in since it opened in 1997, but the Department of Health has a strict kibosh on live animals being inside a “food service establishment.” The Gate doesn’t have a kitchen, but liquor, wine, and beer apparently count as food, a point I’ve personally been arguing for years, but for different reasons.

Pub owner Bobby Gagnon slapped a “no dogs” notice up on the place, much to the chagrin of his patrons, who complained on Facebook.  “When we opened it was like a no man’s land on Fifth Avenue, and we just wanted to be a community pub,” Gagnon told DNA Info. “A person walking in a with a dog makes total sense to me and it doesn’t make any sense to the Health Department…There seems to be a bit of an inane quality to that regulation.”

Gagnon plans to present his case on November 18, when he has a hearing in front of the city’s Office of Administrative Trials. It’s worth noting that the bar had passed previous inspections with flying colors, even with their explicitly pro-dog policy. He’s collecting messages of support, so if you feel strongly about the dog in bar situation, you can leave a note on their Facebook wall.



  1. I was at The Gate on Sunday for the 5th Ave Fair in Park Slope and I was very upset that there were no more dogs allowed because the stupid city health department cracked down on it. When I used to live in the area I would bring my now very old Begale there. The main draw was to see & play with dogs. Please allow dogs back.


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