St. Petersburg’s Dog Bar caters to pups and their humans

PUBLISHED MAY 16, 2016 @10:09 PM

There’s a new dog in town on the St. Petersburg bar scene. It’s called The Dog Bar.

The Dog Bar caters to dogs and their humans
Bar features off-leash area with pool, fans, plenty of space to roam
After two months, spot already has loyal following
The Central Avenue spot caters mostly to your four-legged friends.

“Our wag line is ‘Sit. Stay. Drink,” said bartender Lydia Zimmerman-Crumbaugh.

While your cocktails are important, bartenders here are more concerned with their canine customers.

“It’s clearly a niche, but it’s a niche for people whose dogs are family members and not pets,” said co-owner Fred Metzler.

Metzler and co-owner J.P. Brewer have another Dog Bar location that has thrived in North Carolina for a decade.

After less than two months, this spot already has a loyal following.

“We drive 40 minutes to get here once a week, because there’s nothing like it,” said Seminole resident Erin Wyer.

Others who live right down the street say it’s an easy way to relax while letting your dog blow off some steam.

“It’s kind of like killing two birds with one stone,” said Joshua Howard, who enjoys the bar with his dog Polar. “We have that one place we can both go to have a good time.”

“People normally go to a bar to people watch,” said customer Thea Yatras. “People come here to people watch, and dog watch.”

Nearby, a dog named Professor Beakers Von Fluffybottom walked on his hind legs and rolled over for treats. Of course, the treats are kept behind the bar.

Patrons aren’t bothered that the bartenders can’t remember human names as quickly as they can their canine companion’s.

“It’s always easier to remember a dog’s name than a person’s name. But I know ‘so and so’ is ‘so and so’s’ mom,” Zimmerman Crumbaugh said.

The bar boasts an off-leash dog park attached to the indoor leash-only space. Outside, dogs can enjoy a bone-shaped pool, fans to stay cool, and of course plenty of space to roam.

“The addition of the off-leash area and to make it all about the dogs, that’s where we separate ourselves from other dog-friendly areas,” said Metzler.

Another thing that separates this bar is its strict rules. To bring your dog to play, you must be a member. It costs $40 per year, and you must prove your dog is up to date on Parvo and rabies shots. Your pup also has to be fixed if he or she is over one year old.

The dog can also not have any history of aggression.

Metzler says that’s the key to a successful and safe environment for you and your dog.

In the end, he says, it’s worth it to see the animals have the time of their lives.

“At the Dog Bar, your dog is running and playing. After Dog Bar, your dog is passed out. Head on the pillow. Maybe didn’t make it to dinner last night because they had so much fun,” Metzler said.

The only cure for that? The hair of the dog.

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