Dec 20, 2023 - Things to Do

A dog park/bar mix to open in Mid-City

A rendering of the new Dog House bar, restaurant and dog park combo headed to Mid-City. Rendering: Courtesy of The Dog House

A new kind of bar is headed to Mid-City, and it'll be part dog park, part restaurant.

Why it matters: This new concept, called The Dog House, is pawesome.

How it happened: Before Kelly Robinson moved to New Orleans in 2018, she spotted a dog park in Texas that was attached to a bar/restaurant space.

  • "I'd go at least once a week. … It was such a good concept," Robinson tells Axios New Orleans, that she couldn't get the idea out of her head for years. It had dug right in.
  • "I was working at a job I didn't really like, and I started dreaming about it," she says. "I worked in multiple industries, and none was ever a good fit. I was just the person who wanted to go drink with my dog."
  • Finally, she decided to chase that dream.

State of play: Robinson worked up designs over the past few years, and she's already broken ground on a space in Mid-City on Banks Street near the corner of South Broad Street.

  • The Dog House is due to open in February.
  • The dog park will be based on a membership, which Robinson says will allow her team to check dogs for vaccinations and possible temperament issues.
  • The bar and restaurant will be adjacent, so visitors can drop their dog in the park and grab a drink or a meal while keeping a watch on their pet, or swing by the bar first and take it to-go into the park area.
A rendering shows the view of a dog park from the inside of a bar.
A rendered view of The Dog House's yard from inside the bar. Rendering: Courtesy of The Dog House

The menu, Robinson says, is still coming together, but options include a fried hot chicken sandwich, a Spam al pastor, a Swedish meatball sub and a vegan sandwich, likely with eggplant.

  • As for the drinks, nothing is set in stone, but "you can expect a lot of puns."
  • Canine customers will be taken care of, too, she says, with "dog beer" made with chicken broth or other pup-friendly ingredients.

What she says: "Our whole concept is meant to be approachable," she says.

  • "Tasty and yummy, but far from pretentious. We have dogs running around."

What's next: Once the ball gets rolling, Robinson already hopes to expand the park space to give dogs like hers — a Labradoodle named Krewe and a Dachshund-pit mix named Chili Dog — more space to run around.

  • Plus, The Dog House will host adoption events to connect pets with future forever homes.
  • "Hopefully," she says, "we can do more than just have a beer."
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