Dog owners tend to be a slightly different breed. Meaning, they take the phrase “man’s best friend” incredibly seriously and are always scouting for places they can go where it’s acceptable to bring Fido along for the ride. Luckily for dog lovers, Arkansas business owners have been creating and continue to create spaces for owners and pets alike to have a good time together. Below are a few of our favorite dog-friendly spots across the state.

The Pizza Cafe

Locations:

1517 Rebsamen Park Rd, Little Rock

14710 Cantrell Rd, Little Rock

Hours: Sun–Thu, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Fri–Sat, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

 

They always get a lot of attention. After all, who doesn’t love dogs? — Frankie Fuhrman, owner The Pizza Cafe

 

Human Perks: Delicious pizzas, beverages and a spacious patio hidden away from the sun under a beautiful tree canopy.

 

Pet Perks: The patio is pet-friendly and doggos are often welcomed with water bowls upon making their grand entrance.

 

A staple eatery since the early 1990s, Pizza Cafe is a great place to enjoy a delicious, cheesy pizza pie. The flagship location sits along Rebsamen Park Road, with a second location opening in West Little Rock in 2013. Both patios are dog-friendly, but the Rebsamen patio is the star of today’s show.

 

The outdoor area is a sanctuary for dogs and their owners alike. The wooden ramp leads to a nicely enveloped space set back from the road and parking lot. The seating includes several different-sized patio tables and chairs with umbrellas galore, giving the space the feel of a hidden, eclectic garden. The wooden patio is sheltered from the sun by a ginormous catawba tree, which makes you feel as if you’ve stepped into a carefully curated yard.

 

Servers are often quick to bring bowls of water out to friendly pups on the patio. Owner Frankie Fuhrman said she made the decision to make the switch to a dog-friendly establishment a few years ago. She’s glad she did.

 

“Once I got everyone on board,” she said, “It was a no-brainer to welcome pups to the patio.”

 

Having a dog-friendly patio makes the neighborhood pizzeria feel all the more connected to regulars and first-timers alike. Thus, it’s probably not surprising that the presence of pups has done nothing but increase business and raise customer satisfaction.

 

“For the most part, people bring only well-behaved dogs,” Fuhrman said. “It’s nice to have pet owners feel welcome.”

 

Patrons bond over the fluffers as easily as they do over the excellent artisan pizzas or frosty cold beer; it’s not at all unusual for conversations to start with the opener, “May I pet your dog?” As such, the Pizza Café’s patio has become a destination spot for many pups and their owners around the Rock.

 

“It’s wonderful to see customers out and about with their pets,” Fuhrman said. “They always get a lot of attention. After all, who doesn’t love dogs?”

dog friendly bucket list

Good Dog Café

2640 E Huntsville Rd, Fayetteville

Hours: Thu–Sun, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Closed Mon–Wed

 

The café has become a community. We know almost every dog’s name when they come through the door. — Tryphina Renz, co-owner, Good Dog Café

 

Pet Perks: Dog-specific treats (pup cups), and lots of space to romp, jump and run around off-leash.

 

Human Perks: Breakfast sandwiches, coffee and other beverages. Plus, there’s ample seating and the guarantee that your dog will have a good time.

We’ve all heard of pet-friendly patios – but what about an entire dog-themed café? Good Dog Café first opened in 2019 by husband-and-wife co-owners Tryphina Renz and Marco Szabo. The couple, who owns five dogs, was inspired to go into business by their frequent trips to the local dog park.

 

“We fantasized it would be great if there was a food truck that served coffee there,” she said. “We always dreamed about opening a mom-and-pop breakfast place, so we put the idea together.”

 

Renz and Szabo bought some land in 2018 and began the hard work to make their dream a reality. Custom-built obstacles are placed strategically throughout the grassy yard, providing endless opportunities for energetic dogs to try new routes, go on adventures and use their brains. Plus, there are always toys and almost always an ample number of other dogs to play with.

 

“We kind of thought of it as being a dog playground,” Renz said. “We didn’t want just an open backyard. We thought it would be a little more fun if there was something for the dogs.”

 

The menu offers all-day breakfast as well as a few lunch options. Though relatively small in number — Good Dog has a tiny kitchen — the offerings are varied and highlight other neighborhood businesses such as Stone Mill Bread, a local favorite.

 

And, while the dogs are burning off energy, dog owners can boost their own with caffeinated beverages. The coffee in the café, Grounds & Hounds, donates a portion of the sales to support dog rescue. Beyond coffee, the menu showcases a variety of tea and homemade lemonade, as well.

 

COVID was a rough time for Good Dog as they had to close their doors for an extended period. Luckily, with community support, they were recently able to reopen. Fans can expect adoption events in the future, as well as other partnerships to bloom and blossom.

 

“The café has become a community,” Renz said. “We know almost every dog’s name when they come through the door. People really recognize each other and become friends. People aren’t on their cell phones, they are talking and laughing and having a good time. That’s what makes it special, people are coming together.”

Bark Bar

1201 S Spring St, Little Rock

Hours: Tue–Fri, 4 to 9 p.m.; Sat 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Sun 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Closed Mon

 

Pet Perks: Dog-specific menu and treats, plus indoor/outdoor dedicated space to romp, jump and run around off-leash. In the summer months, there are usually all kinds

of water pools for the pups, as well.

 

Human Perks: Bark Bar offers local beers and delicious cocktails and mocktails, hosts recurring happy hours and sponsors themed events.

dog friendly

Occupying a Mission-style church which sat dormant for many years, Bark Bar is a pet sanctuary. The indoor area feels welcoming and intimate with a full-bar just left of center stage while a garage door opens to a brilliant side yard equipped with turf, picnic tables and all kinds of doggy pools and toys.

 

In operation since 2017, Bark Bar quickly made a name for itself in the community by pairing up with other local businesses to offer programming and events that tickle the fancy of pet owners and pets alike. The menu likewise offers something for both humans and dogs.

 

“We have a full bar with frozen cocktails, eight beers on tap and plenty of non-alcoholic options,” co-owner Elizabeth Michael said. “We’re always cooking up delicious specials for the humans. We have a strategic partnership with Harley and Charlie and offer very cute dog treats and pup-cakes for special bark days.”

 

Harley and Charlie is a local pet products company that provides nutritious treats as well as handmade toys. Pets can enjoy PupTarts and Woofles and a variety of other options made fresh. Even those of us with finnicky dogs (hello, husky owners), are likely to find something from Harley and Charlie that furry friends will love.

 

If you haven’t yet been to Bark Bar and are excited to check it out, you’ll want to keep a few things in mind. The establishment takes dog health seriously, so before you visit you’ll want to fill out a few forms.

 

“Be sure to fill out our registration form online before you visit. That’s when we verify your dog is up-to-date on all its shots,” said Michael. “Your dog also must be spayed or neutered if they’re over 1 year old.”

 

Once those details are handled, owners can bring their dog as often as they like, thanks to various membership packages. Like to dress your pup up? There’s a night for that. Prefer to get crafty? Maybe you and your golden retriever love Air Bud. There’s a night for that, too. Birthday “pawties”? There’s a humdinger coming up.

 

“It’s hard to believe it, but Bark Bar is about to celebrate our sixth birthday on Saturday, August 26, which just so happens to be National Dog Day,” Michael said. “It’s been magical to walk in and soak up how happy the dogs are and how proud and happy their owners are watching them. You can’t have a bad day at Bark Bar, it’s an instant mood-lifter.”

Pedaler’s Pub

410 SW A St, Bentonville

Hours: Tue–Sun, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Closed Mon

 

Pet Perks: Pet-friendly patio.

 

Human Perks: Awesome community of cycle lovers and music lovers. Plus, the wood-fired pizza is worth writing home about.

Pedaler’s Pub has been a welcoming space for pizza lovers and music lovers, who also happen to be dog lovers, since 2014.

 

Owner Kevin Bennoch, a former teacher, decided at that time that he wanted to combine his love of cycling, woodfire cooking and a pub atmosphere for people who like to get out and get some activity in.

 

Situated three blocks south of Bentonville Square near the Greenway, the pub is a perfect respite for those looking to start or end a ride with quality food and company. The beer list highlights local craft breweries, including those of nearby Bike Rack Brewing Co.

 

Dogs are more than welcome on the patio and are often greeted with a water bowl courtesy of a server upon arrival. While they are not allowed to roam off-leash, it’s a decently sized patio. Plus, most individuals who have just finished cycling are likely to ask, “Can I pet your dog?”

dog friendly

Fassler Hall

311 E Capitol Ave, Little Rock

Hours: Sun–Thurs, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Fri–Sat 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.

 

Pet Perks: Huge, expansive outdoor patio/beer garden offering plenty of space for people to spread out with their doggos.

 

Human Perks: You can order beer by the liter-full.

Fassler Hall first came to Little Rock in 2018, as a second location to its flagship in Tulsa, Ok. A project managed by McNellie’s Group, the eatery is a German-themed beer hall. From bratwurst to beer, dog parents can enjoy the spacious, canine-friendly patio a skip away from Little Rock’s River Market district.

 

The massive patio is equipped with family-style picnic tables dappled with heavy duty umbrellas to help ward off the heat. Dog parents can enjoy yard games such as cornhole and life-size beer pong while sippin’ suds, or they can enjoy a shady respite under one of the many umbrellas.

 

Fassler is the perfect place to enjoy an afternoon or early evening hang with your furry friend while enjoying one of the signature brats, including Greek-inspired lamb, hot Italian and traditional German. Plus, every Monday, brats are half-price.

 

While there’s not a dog-specific menu, there are ample water bowls and the staff often has a treat or two at the ready for cute pups. The patio is large enough for multiple parties to have multiple dogs present without chaos ensuing. Dogs should remain on-leash here, but they are welcome to sit under your feet in the shade of the umbrella or many tables. And don’t forget to give a nice “Prost!” on your way out.

dog friendly bucket list

 

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