Until last month, there was a provision in the state food code that prohibited animals from being inside many taprooms. Because it was stupid, this rule was largely ignored—except in Guilford County, where, earlier this year, health inspectors suddenly decided that dogs lazing about in taprooms was an Issue of Public Concern and began cracking down.
The quick and furious pushback led to a section of the recently passed Senate Bill 290 permitting dogs (and cats) inside breweries and taprooms as long as they don’t prepare food on-site. The law doesn’t officially take effect until September 1, but it’s not like we were paying attention to the old rules, anyway.
To celebrate all of this becoming legit—to be honest, we never knew it wasn’t—we’ve compiled a list of some of our favorite places to have a drink with Fido in the Triangle, as well as one place in Guilford County that both got around the dumb ban and is worth the drive.
106 East Main Street, Durham
With comfy booths, friendly bartenders, tasty drinks, and a dim, dive-y atmosphere, downtown Durham’s neighborhood bar also extends an open invite to pooches.
401 East Main Street, Carrboro
It hasn’t opened yet—and it’s not the same Main Street as the one above—but we have a feeling that this forthcoming late-night bar and sandwich shop might be the dog-friendliest of them all. Customers are encouraged to bring their companions and sit outside on one of the two spacious patios, where 401 will offer treats. And while the bar is co-owned by Al Bowers of Al’s Burger Shack fame, it’s not Bowers’s face plastered on the 401 logo, but a Cocker Spaniel’s.
The Barking Deck
106 South Walnut Circle, Suite B, Greensboro
Yes, it’s a good hour’s drive away. And yes, you’ll need to pay to get in (and make sure your dogs are up on their vaccinations). But the Barking Deck is a concept whose time has come—and really, why hasn’t this thing come to the Triangle? (Anyone want to front us some cash?) The idea: Dog parks are hit and miss. Indoor dog parks are air conditioned. Pubs have beer. You can drink beer and watch dogs play. What else could you possibly want in life?
4015 University Drive, Durham
Dogs are so integral to Barley Labs that just calling the space “dog-friendly” doesn’t do it justice; this taproom, bottle, and gift shop is more like a human-friendly bar for dogs. Dogs comprise two out of the four team members listed on the site—Barley, a lab mix, is VP of quality control, and Hops, Barley’s little brother, is director of PR—and the taproom provides pup patrons with water bowls, dog beds and toys, leash ties, a doggy potty station, and their own all-natural peanut butter, sweet potato, and cheese-flavored dog treats, made using barley recycled from Fullsteam’s beer-brewing process (partial proceeds benefit the APS of Durham).
800 Taylor Street, Durham
Between its vast taproom and outdoor covered patio and beer garden, Hi-Wire boasts ample space—more than ten-thousand square feet—for your dog to romp and socialize while you enjoy a local beer or cider from one of the twenty-four taps; play shuffleboard, ping-pong, cornhole, or foosball; and listen to live music.
Parts & Labor
723 Rigsbee Avenue, Durham
Motorco’s bar and global street food restaurant makes its canine affinity evident by its Instagram page, @dogsofmotorco, which is devoted to photos of the “doggos and puppers” who hang with their humans on the garage bar’s large outdoor space.
Ponysaurus Brewing Company
219 Hood Street, Durham
With a sprawling, grassy lawn, long picnic tables, and strings of twinkling lights, Ponysaurus is the perfect place to bring your dog while enjoying a beer on a warm summer evening. And if you reserve a grill ahead of time, the brewery will provide bratwurst, hot dogs, burgers, and wings for you to cook (and slip to a certain hungry friend waiting for a handout).
Tasty Beverage Company
327 West Davie Street, #106, Raleigh
So, a bunch of dogs wandering around a small bar and bottle shop packed with tall shelves full of bottles sounds … dangerous? Whatever. Tasty loves pups, pups loveTasty, everyone’s happy.
Trophy Brewing & Taproom
656 Maywood Avenue, Raleigh
Picture this: dozens of adoptable dogs wearing party hats, sitting at picnic tables, eating dog-friendly cupcakes and ice cream. This was the scene on Trophy’s outdoor patio last week, when the brewery threw a birthday party and fundraiser for the senior dogs of Hope Animal Rescue. Don’t fret if you missed it: Trophy is usually packed with four-legged friends, even if it’s not hosting a special event.
Wye Hill Kitchen & Brewing
201 South Boylan Avenue, Raleigh
Can anything top sitting on Wye Hill’s covered rooftop patio, sipping a cold beer, snacking on pub cheese and potato chips, and enjoying gorgeous views of the Raleigh skyline? Yes. Doing all of that with your best friend by your side.
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Two more great places in the Triangle for dogs are Raleigh Brewing on Hillsborough Street (the owner loves dogs and brings her own) and Bond Brothers in downtown Cary, which has a great outdoor area and lots of fuzzy friends.
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