Dog Friendly Spotlight: Platform Beer Co.

So I think it’s about time I turn the reins over to the ultimate dog friendly patio enthusiast, my dog Hunter, for the regular Dog Friendly Spotlight series. Who would know better than a dog what a dog enjoys when he goes a patio? So from now on all DFS posts will be contributed by Hunter (with special appearances by his brother Roscoe as well).

Before we get into the review though, I’d like to introduce you to the author.

hunter beach
He chose this picture.


Hunter Boo Barkley was born Aug. 17, 2011. He lived the first few months of his life with someone else, but became a part of my family on March 18, 2012. As a puppy, Hunter was just about the cutest thing you’ve ever seen and he has carried that cuteness with him through his adolescence. Hunter loves everyone he meets (except the mail carrier and the UPS delivery person) and will go out of his way to stay hi to every stranger he sees. When he’s not hitting up patios around Cleveland, Hunter enjoys sitting at the window and keeping watch of the neighborhood, eating bully sticks as fast as dogly possibly, rolling around in grass and snuggling with his brother, Roscoe.

Hunter is especially excited to contribute to this month’s Dog Friendly Spotlight: Platform Beer Co., one of the most dog friendly bars in Cleveland! Take it away Hunter!


My mom takes me to a lot of patios, but I don’t mind, I know that people like to see me. Sometimes though, I don’t get as much attention as I’d like or there aren’t a lot of other dogs there for me to sniff. In my book, a good patio is one that knows that I am the star and lets me get out and see my dawgs.

Sniff circle.
Sniff circle.


As soon as we walked up to the Platform patio (my mom wanted me to add that there’s a patio entrance next to Platform’s front door, so you don’t have to walk through the bar. Whatevs), I knew I was going to like this joint. There were four other dogs there and one was even off leash! What a cool dude. (Side note: I know I like to run, but I would come back Mom! Let me off leash!)


Patio entrance
Patio entrance


Anyways, so these dogs were really cool and we got to play a little bit and got some quality sniffing time in. It was pretty hot that night too, so luckily there were a few water bowls around the patio for me and my dawgs. I could really spread my paws out too. I don’t really love it when I have to be cramped under a table or have to move out of people’s way. It’s like people don’t understand how important I am sometimes… I don’t get it.

This patio had it all — lots of things to smell, I met some new dog friends and I got lots of attention. What more could a dawg ask for? (Some treats would be good, hint hint).

Final bark: This one gets five (out of five) dog biscuits. If you haven’t taken your dog there yet, you might want to ask yourself – do I really love him? Just kidding guys. My bro Rosky just told me some dogs don’t like patios. Crazy huh? Hope to see you out in the CLE!

The details:
Platform Beer Co.
4125 Lorain Ave. (North on W. 41st exit off I-90. Located on corner of Lorain and w. 41st.)

Mon: 3pm – close*
Tues: 3pm – close*
Wed: 3pm – close*
Thur: 3pm – close*
Fri: 3pm – 2am
Sat: 10am – 2am
Sun: closed

(From the website: *We will close when appropriate each night. Last call will be 15-20 minutes before closing each night.)

Note from Mom: As with most public places that are not dog parks, it is probably best to keep your dog on leash. During our visit, the dog that was off leash was a small, older dog who occasionally walked around, but wasn’t bothering anyone. I wouldn’t take Hunter off leash in a public (non-dog park) setting and I imagine plenty of other dogs would not do well with this as well. As always, the key to a good patio experience is to know your dog and be respectful of those around you, dogs and humans.

Paddleboarding Pup

Hunter tried paddleboarding this past weekend –



And loved it!

We hit up Hinckley Lake for our paddleboarding adventure. You can rent paddleboards there, or boats and kayaks. Although Hunter was the only paddleboarding dog, there were several other dogs out on the water, one riding in a boat and a few just hanging out.

I wasn’t sure at first how Hunter would do. He does like to be out on the water, but he can sometimes have problems sitting still, so I figured it could go either way. He did much better than I expected though. He only had one moment of panic when he got on with my friend and jumped off the board as they pulled further out. Luckily, he dog paddled out like a pro (and also had a life jacket on).

When he got on the board with me, he was a paddleboarding pro! He just sat there and didn’t move an inch. I was so proud.

I was also so excited to use Hunter’s life jacket! I bought it on a whim at a dog fair the first year I got him and haven’t used it since. I am so glad that we are finally living out my dream of lots of water adventures! Next up – boating and kayaking!


5 Dog Friendly Summer Activities

It’s summer time, the best time of year in Cleveland! There are so many things to do when it’s nice outside, but you don’t want to leave your dog behind! Luckily many summer activities, from swimming to boating to getting ice cream, are perfect for all types of dogs.

Here are 5 dog friendly summer activities to get you out enjoying some quality summer time with your best furry friend(s)!


It’s not summer without some pool and lake time! Several area beaches allow dogs including Edgewater Beach (there’s a designated area for dogs, just follow the signs), Fairport Harbor on the east side, Columbia Rd. Beach in Bay Village and Bow Wow Beach in Stow. Bow Wow Beach is the only one that is entirely fenced in so dogs can be off leash. However, if you have a very well-behaved (has his “come” command down) water-savvy dog, I’ve noticed that most people do allow their dogs to be off leash on the beach.

Later this summer there should be some other opportunities for your dog to swim at local pools. Lakewood Dog Park’s annual dog swim and Dog Paddle and Pet-a-Palooza are two fun annual events to take your dog swimming. Lakewood holds its dog swim at the end of pool season (early September) and Dog Paddle and Pet-a-Palooza will be Aug. 23.


Go Paddleboarding/Kayaking/Boating

If you have a dog that loves the water, your summer plans should include some on the water activities like boating or paddleboarding. At Hinckley you can rent certain boats and bring your dog along. Find out more information here on prices and what boats dogs are allowed on. Hunter and I will be trying paddleboarding this weekend at Hinckley (weather permitting), so stay tuned for pictures!

Portage Lakes is another good option for water activities with your dog. There is also a dog park located near the lake if your dog gets bored being on the water. Also a little further away, at Kayak the Bay in Put-in-Bay, you can rent kayaks and bring your dog along for the ride. Find out more info here. Don’t forget your dog’s life jacket!


Go to a Wineryimage

There is nothing I love to do more in the summer than sit outside and drink wine. Luckily, I don’t have to leave my dogs behind when visiting area wineries. Sarah’s Vineyards in Akron is dog friendly and several other wineries, including Wolf Creek Winery, Debonne and Thorncreek hold yappy hour events throughout the summer where you can enjoy an evening out with your dog at a winery.

Read more about those (and other summer yappy hours) here:


Go to a Drive in Movie

I don’t think drive in movies are great for every dog (Hunter would probably do too much barking), but if you have a calm, quiet dog, a few local drive in theatres, including the Elm Road Drive In Theatre in Warren and the Mayfield Rd. Drive In in Chardon are both dog friendly.

Also, next Tuesday at the Aut-O-Rama Drive In Theatre in North Ridgeville, they will be hosting “Take Your Pet to the Movies” night. For a $5 admission fee for your dog, he or she can tag along while you enjoy the double feature of ET and Who Framed Roger Rabbit. Proceeds benefit Multiple Breed Rescue. Find out more info here:



Get Ice Cream

Since most ice cream places have outdoor areas, you should be able to bring your dog along wherever you go to enjoy some ice cream. I pretty much always see dogs outside of Mitchell’s locations and at Mason’s Creamery in Ohio City, you can bring your dog inside (but please check with the staff as it may depend on the customers inside at the time). So order your dog a tiny portion of vanilla ice cream and enjoy a special treat together. (Some dogs may not handle dairy very well, so check with your vet first before giving him or her ice cream).

At Dairy Queen  you can get your dog a “Pup Cup,” a small cup with vanilla soft serve and a treat on top, or just a small cup of vanilla soft serve.



What is your dog’s favorite summertime activity?



Dog Friendly Spotlight: Edison’s

(Update 5/2017 – dogs are no longer allowed inside at Edison’s. They are still welcome on the patio).

Reason number 8,978 why I’m not a fan of the winter:  there are so few options for places to take your dog.  During the summer months I can take Hunter to one of the dozens of dog friendly patios across the city to grab a drink and a bite to eat. But during the winter months the list of places shrinks down significantly.

There are a couple of options for those of us who like to get our dogs out during the winter. This past weekend I took Hunter to Edison’s in Tremont to enjoy some beer and pizza (just beer for him. Just kidding! He was bummed to not get either). Edison’s is one of the most dog friendly bars in Cleveland. I don’t think I’ve ever been there and not seen at least one dog. This past weekend there were two other dogs when we arrived, including a very large dog hanging out in the back room (dogs of all sizes are welcome!).

In general, I am more comfortable taking Hunter to a patio than inside a bar, but Edison’s is so dog friendly I don’t even really think about it when I am there. I do keep a few things in mind though to make the experience enjoyable for both Hunter and the people around me:

  • Go early – Things can get a little crazy and hectic at bars as the night goes on. Anytime I take Hunter to a bar, we go on the earlier side when I know it’ll be less crowded. As social as your dog may be, once things start getting too crowded it really won’t be enjoyable for him or her.
  • Know your dog – Being inside in a smaller space with other dogs can lead to problems. Know your dog and his limits. Generally an indoor bar setting is going to be best for a calm, laid back dog that isn’t people or dog reactive. Hunter can be a little of both, so I play it by ear with him and try to keep him out of other people’s way. I know with him it’s just going to him begging for attention, not barking or biting at people, so that’s easier to manage than some issues.
  • Take a walk before – In addition to taking a walk beforehand to have him or her do his business, it’s always a good idea to work off some energy before going and sitting at a bar.

Here are some other options if you’re looking to get out with your dog for a drink this winter:

Flying Monkey 819 Jefferson Ave., Tremont,
Barking Spider 11310 Juniper Rd., Cleveland
Bier Markt / Barcento 1948 W. 25th Street, Ohio City
NanoBrew 1859 W 25th St. Ohio City

Do you take your dog out to bars during the winter? What is your favorite place?



55 Things To Do with Your Dog in Northeast Ohio (2015 edition)

This list was such a big hit last year that I wanted to update it and improve it for 2015. This year’s list has new information on many of the things on last year’s list, as well as some new activities for you and your dog. So check it out and let me know what your favorite activity is (or what activity you can’t wait to try this year)!

1. Go to the ultimate dog park – Bow Wow Beach is basically a dog’s dream. With a lake right in the middle and tons of ground to explore, your dog could spend hours here (if you let him).

2. Work out with your dog – This fun dog- friendly workout is held outdoors at a park during the summer and early fall, and indoors during the winter. The workout focuses on exercise for you and your dog as well dog behavior training. Visit for more information. Read about our experience with it here:

3. Have a beer with your dog – There are so many great patios to get a beer in the Cleveland area. Check out my list of the Top 10 Dog Friendly Patios, or the Where to Go page, to find one near you.

Hunter loves Barrio's patio!

4. Join a pack with your dog – Cleveland Metroparks as well as many training groups hold regular pack walks. There are also many local hiking groups to get your dog out and enjoying the company of other dogs. Keep an eye on the calendar for dates.

5. Take your dog to brunch – Luxe in the Detriot Shoreway area is a popular place for dog lovers who also love brunch. The restaurant hosts a Bow Wow Brunch on Sundays in the summer, choosing a Dog of the Week each week to feature on their Facebook page. Other good brunch choices are Rocky River Wine Bar, Nighttown in Cleveland Heights and Lucky’s in Tremont.

6. Take your dog to a baseball game – The Cleveland Indians host an annual Puppypalooza event where you can bring your dog to a game and area minor league teams allow dogs at certain games. Last year’s Puppypalooza at Progressive was in June, stay posted to this site for dates!


7. Take a road trip with your dog – Popular dog friendly spots within a short drive are Hocking Hills and Columbus. Read all about having a dog friendly weekend in Columbus here:

8. Take a scenic dog hike – I love Cleveland Metroparks. There are so many great trails and the best thing is that the majority are dog friendly! I am working on hitting all the parks this year, but here’s a post about some of my favorites:

9. Help out a local rescue group – Rescue groups hold numerous events every year where you bring your dog and enjoy all sorts of activities. Woofstock, Rescue Village’s annual fundraiser held in September and the Lake Humane Society’s Mutt Strut are two good ones to keep your eye out for this year.

10. Go on an Easter egg hunt with your dog On Saturday, March 7, the Cleveland APL will be holding a “Doggone Easter Egg Hunt.” The dog walk will take place from 6:30 to 9:30 am and admission is a donation to the Cleveland APL. The Easter Bunny will be on hand for photos as well.  There will be refreshments for the humans and treats for dogs along the route.


11. Visit a botanical garden – Since dogs are no longer allowed at the Cleveland Botanical Garden, a trip to the Holden Arboretum is your best way to take a scenic walk through gardens with your dog.

12.  Go backpacking with your dog Adventures Unleashed based in the Central Ohio area plans camping and backpacking trips you can take with your dog.  Visit for more info, or email if you’d like to be notified of trips.

13. Make a thanksgiving tradition with your dog – If you’re an ambitious type who likes to get out and be active on the laziest day of the year, sign up for the annual Turkey Trot and bring your dog along!

14. Enter your dog in a contest A variety of Cleveland dog events hold dog fashion shows and cutest dog contests throughout the year. Last year the Cuyahoga Animal Shelter held an event called Pawject Runway and the Warehouse District Festival has held a Cutest Dog Contest the last two years. Stay tuned for more details as these are announced!

15. – Go skijoring/sledding with your dog Check out the Siberan Husky Club in Cleveland, they hold an annual Sled Dog Race (it was cancelled for this year, but is usually in January) and host a variety of activities for Husky owners.

16. Have a glass of wine with your dog Hit up Clifton Wine Bar in Cleveland outside of downtown or Market Ave. Wine Bar in Ohio City to enjoy a glass of wine on a patio with your dog.

17. Dress your dog up and go for a run – Berea Animal Rescue Fund’s Monster Mutt Dash is your chance to dress up your dog up in a Halloween costume and run a 5K or participate in a 1 mile walk. Monster Mutt Dash also includes a fun Halloween after party.

18. Take your dog to the ultimate dog party Every August The Greyhound Adoption of Ohio hosts Canine Fun Days – a two day party for dogs and their people. The event includes swimming, dock diving, contests and more.

19. Find or plan a dog meet upThere are a few dog meet ups currently:, but it seems like there’s an opportunity for more. I was recently informed of a Husky/Malamute group, check them out at

20. Take your dog swimming – Lakewood Dog Park’s annual dog swim and Dog Paddle and Pet-a-Palooza are two fun annual events to take your dog swimming. Paws by the Lake, a doggie daycare facility in Avon, also offers pool passes for guests to come and take advantage of their lazy river. Contact them at (440) 933-5297 for more details.


21. Get your pet’s photo taken with Santa – Don’t miss your chance at the end of November and early December to get your dog’s photo taken with Santa (I will remind you, don’t worry).

22. Certify your dog as a good canine citizen – If you are looking to teach your dog some manners, or maybe even want to find out if your dog has what it takes to be a therapy dog, sign him up for a Canine Good Citizen course. The course teaches dogs how to handle distractions and behave politely with people and dogs.

23. Go to an old dog party – The Sanctuary for Senior Dogs holds “Summer Scoop” also known as the “Old Dog Party” every summer offering activities for senior dogs, including the Old Dog Olympics, an agility course for older dogs.

24. Go to happy hour with your dog – For those of us who can never make it to a happy hour because we have to be home for our dogs, yappy hour season, where you can bring your dog along to a bar, can’t come soon enough. Voices in the Dark Animal Rescue hosts one on every third Friday at Griller’s Pub in Parma (dogs are welcome on the patio when it’s open!). Stay tuned to the site for more info on these events!

25. Go pumpkin picking with your dog – Patterson Fruit Farm, Szalay’s Farm and Pick n’ Save Orchard are a few dog friendly pumpkin patches in NE Ohio, so you can bring your dog along to pick out this year’s pumpkin.


26. Take your dog to the beach Who doesn’t love a day at the beach? You can bring your dog along for a swim at Columbia Rd Beach, Edgewater, Fairport Harbor.

27. Celebrate Valentine’s Day with your dogCelebrate Valentine’s a little early with your dog by taking him shopping at Live, Love, Rescue’s Valentine’s Pop-Up Shop and Adoption Event at Alpha-Dog Pet Center in Amherst. Held on Feb. 8, you can enjoy pet vendors, adoptable dogs and refreshments. Find out more here:

28. Take a walk in one the best parks in the nation – ranks the Cuyahoga Valley National Park as one of the best dog friendly parks in the nation and I agree!  Make sure you and your dog take advantage of this NE Ohio treasure.

29. Take your dog shopping – Crocker Park and Legacy Village and many shops on Main St. in Chagrin Falls are all dog friendly. Crocker and Legacy are mainly just for window shopping (since unless you have a very small dog, most stores don’t allow dogs inside), but many stores on Main St. do allow dogs inside.

30. Take a Nature Hike If you are tired of taking walks on your own, Cleveland Metroparks host a number of dog friendly nature walks so you can take a guided walk with your dog.

31. Take your dog to work dayThis year’s “Take Your Dog to Work Day” will be held on Friday, June 26.

32. Schedule a Spa Day for your dog – Fetch in Rocky River and the Barkley Pet Hotel in Orange offer luxury dog grooming services like pawdicures and facials. If you’re looking for a new way to spoil your dog, this is it!


33. Put those jumping skills to use – Buckeye Dock Dogs offers dock diving classes for active dogs who love the water. Check them out at:

34. Get up to date on the latest in dog trends –  The Cleveland Pet Expo will be Sept. 12 this year at the IX Center. You can bring your dog along as you peruse the latest in pet gear.

35. Run a 5K with your dog – Many races organized by Hermes Cleveland are dog friendly, including the Love-A-Stray race which will be in April and the Monster Mutt Dash in October. Stay tuned for updates on more 5K races.

36. Take your dog to a farmer’s market – Tremont and Gordon Square Farmer’s Markets are dog friendly, so you can get your shopping done and take your dog on a walk!

37. Go to a summer festival with your dog – Clifton Arts Festival, The Taste of Tremont and The Warehouse District Festival are common dog friendly festivals. If you have a calm dog that is good with crowds, this is a fun summer activity.

38. Get a cup of coffee with your dog – Lucky’s and Civilization, both in Tremont, and Gypsy Bean are all good dog friendly spots for coffee lovers. So bring your dog along next time you want to sit outside with a cup of coffee.

39. Put your dog through an obstacle course – If you have an active, energetic dog, you may want to check out Agility. Canine University of Ohio and Cleveland All Breed Training Club are two area training facilities that offer classes.

40. Go to a hockey game with your dog – The Cleveland APL’s 6th Annual Pucks & Paws event will be Sunday, March 8. The Monsters will be playing the Chicago Wolves starting at 3 p.m.

41. Have a playdate – PetPeople hosts playgroups for small and large dogs at different area stores. Check out their calendar for dates:

42. Road trip for Dog Fest of Zoar – Located about an hour and half south of Cleveland in Bolivar, Dog Fest will be a weekend long event featuring dog related events, demonstrations, and activities featuring a competition conducted by Buckeye Dock Dogs. Find out more here:

43. Hang out on an island with your dogIt might be stretch to call Lake Erie a “beach” but it’s fun to pretend. If you’re looking to get that beach vibe, Whiskey Island is a great spot for you and your dog.

44. Visit a vineyard with your dogSeveral area vineyards allow dogs to visit on designated nights of the week. Some area wineries that hold yappy hours during the summer include Debonne Cellars, Winery at Wolf Creek and Thorncreek Winery. Stay tuned to the site for more details on these events!


45. Dress up your dog and join a parade – If you like to dress your dog up for Halloween, mark your calendar for the Spooky Pooch Parade in Lakewood. People get very creative with the dog costumes, so it’s always an entertaining activity for you and your dog.

46. Go camping with your dog – Many area campgrounds are pet friendly including Country Acres Campground in Ravenna, so you can bring your dog along for some hiking and star gazing.

47. Schedule a stay at a swanky pet friendly hotel Looking for a fun in-town vacation for you and your dog? The newly opened The 9 downtown is dog friendly and has an indoor dog park so it’s fun for you and your dog.

48Throw your dog a birthday party – Your dog may not know it’s his birthday, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t celebrate. You can get a birthday cake for your dog from Grateful Dog Bakery (they no longer rent out their back room for parties) or a “Birthday Bone” from One Lucky Dog Bakery in Medina.

49. Teach your dog a new trick – Teaching your dog new tricks is a great winter time activity, and it’s even better when you can do it in a group setting with a trainer. Fortunate Fido and North Coast Dogs offer a variety of classes to work on everything from puppy socialization and behavior issues to new tricks.

50. Visit a castle with your Dog – Not only is the North Chagrin Reservation in Willoughby Hills a really beautiful park, but you can take a trail that leads to a castle! Hunter loves pretending he is the king of the castle when we visit (oh wait, he always thinks he’s the king).

51. Visit a historic cemetery with your dog – Normally taking your dog for a walk through a cemetery would not be a very fun activity, but this particular cemetery is a little different than most. Founded in 1869, the Lakeview Cemetery has over 285 acres of beautiful scenery, including views of Lake Erie, along with historical monuments and the final resting spots of John D. Rockefeller and Eliot Ness, among others. Find out more here: (Thanks to a reader named Killian for the tip!)

52. Sign your dog up for a flyball class – Flyball is a competitive sport for dogs that involves jumping hurdles and retrieving balls. The Cleveland All Breed Training Club offers flyball classes, contact them for more details:

53. Go bikejoring with your dog The Trailbreakers Sled Dog Club (which is hosting a meeting this Sunday, Jan. 25) hosts the annual Dryland Sled Dog Challenge, usually held in November. The race is done with scooters, bikes and three-wheeled carts pulled by sled dogs on “dryland.”

54. Visit a dog park in a State Park The Northern Ohio area has three state parks that also have dog parks with lake access – Mosquito Lake, Portage Lake and Wingfoot Lake. For more info, visit:

55. Go see waterfalls with your dog – Chagrin Falls is one of the most dog friendly places in the Northern Ohio area. If you haven’t taken your dog there for some shopping and waterfalls viewing, you (and your dog) are missing out!

At Chagrin Falls

What would you add? Let me know your favorite activity to do with your dog in the comments!

Main page photo courtesy of the Office of Ohio Tourism.

Dog Friendly Pumpkin Patches in Northeast Ohio

There are few better activities on a beautiful fall day than going pumpkin picking. Luckily NE Ohio has quite a few dog friendly farms, so you don’t have to leave your dog at home while partaking in fall’s favorite pastime.

Hunter, Roscoe and I made a stop at Szalay’s Farm in Peninsula this past weekend to check out their pumpkin selection. Located in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, the farm has pumpkins, local produce and a gigantic corn maze. It’s also surrounded by the Towpath Trail so there is a lot to keep your dog entertained. It was a perfect fall day on our visit Sunday so  there were lots of dogs out with their families enjoying the day.

This was also a big trip out for my foster Roscoe, who I am trying to socialize. He’s a very shy guy and can get a little scared if people come too close to him, so I wasn’t sure if it would be too much for him. He did great on our walk around the Towpath Trail, but got a little scared when we got to the farm and some children came over. Hunter loved every second of it, though, even when a little girl grabbed him and forced a hug on him.  Sidenote: Parents – don’t let your child grab a dog and hug him! I’m glad Hunter is so laid back, but it is a risky move to make on any dog.

I definitely recommend Szalay’s for a great dog friendly fall day with your dog. With the Towpath Trail right next to the farm, you get a scenic fall walk and pumpkin picking all in one trip.

I get to pick the pumpkin right?


Fall really is their color.
Roscoe walking the Towpath Trail with my nephew. A big step for him since he hasn't let someone other than me walk him before.
Roscoe walking the Towpath Trail with my nephew. A big step for him since he hasn’t let someone other than me walk him before.


Other dog friendly pumpkin patches:

Pick ‘n Save Orchard, Medina

Patterson’s Fruit Farm, Chesterland (dogs are not allowed in the fruit farm for apple or strawberry picking)

Am I missing any other dog friendly pumpkin patches? Let me know in the comments.

Top 10 Dog-Friendly Patios

(Updated for 2016 – I’ve been informed Spice Kitchen is no longer dog friendly)

It was a tough job, but someone had to do it. I spent the summer scouring the Cleveland patio scene searching for the best dog-friendly patios. That’s how dedicated I am to you, my fellow Cleveland dog and patio lovers.

I made a list at the start of the summer of some of the patios I’d heard to be the most dog friendly and I ended up making it to pretty much all of the places. I also found a few new ones along the way. It’s definitely an exciting time in the Cleveland dining and drinking scene, and a lot of new dog-friendly places are sprouting up in Cleveland.

Before I get into the patios, I encourage you to read this if you are considering taking your dog out. I’ve heard some bad stories lately and I would hate for Cleveland’s dog-friendly patio scene to get a bad name:

Here are some things I take into consideration to determine what makes a good dog-friendly patio:

1) How much space is there for you and your dog. Will you feel cramped or in other people’s way?
2) How comfortable do I feel hanging out with my dog? Are people, including the staff at the bar/restaurant, welcoming of the dog, or are they annoyed?
3) Do they accommodate the dog as well? Provide water, attention, treats maybe?

Of course it’s not a requirement that they fawn over my dog or give him treats, but it’s a nice bonus (Hunter asked me to add that part).

 The List (in no particular order)

Barking Spider
11310 Juniper Rd.

This Cleveland Heights favorite has a laid-back patio perfect for hanging out with your dog.  The bar allows dogs inside and out, and the inside of the bar opens up to the front and back patios for easy access. The back patio is especially fun for dogs who love to dig in mulch!

Nano Brew
1859 W. 25th St.

This bar has a large dog-friendly patio that runs alongside and behind the bar (it also has an outdoor bar where you can get drinks as well). They provide dog bowls and I usually see at least one other dog any time I visit, so this a well known spot to take your dog. I always feel comfortable taking Hunter here. And the really good burgers don’t hurt either. 

Clifton Wine Bar
10427 Clifton Ave.

This wine bar is one of my favorite spots in Lakewood. I love their food and their patio is spacious and very welcoming of dogs. I never think twice about bringing my dog here. The staff is always very excited about dog visitors and provides water bowls.

6605 Detroit Ave.

This restaurant is so dog friendly, they host a weekly “Bow Wow Brunch” for people to bring their dogs and enjoy brunch on their patio. Even without catering to dogs with their own brunch, I’d love this patio. It’s one of the prettiest in Cleveland and the patio has a lot of space for you and your dog.

Platform Brewing Company
4125 Lorain Ave.

This is one of my favorite bars in Cleveland, and not just because it’s dog friendly. The beer is good, the atmosphere is laid back and they bring in fun food vendors so you can sample different local Cleveland places. The patio is a great place to hang out with your dog, and there are always at least a few others dogs out there. Last summer they even hosted a dog show, so you know they really love dogs!



12387 Cedar Rd.

This one makes the list mainly because last summer the restaurant did a renovation and built two patios, one specifically designed to allow people to bring their dogs with them. The spacious patio is very welcoming of dogs and it’s definitely worth a stop if you’re an eastsider looking for good dog-friendly patio.

2927 Bridge Ave.

Not only is Heck’s known for their burgers, but they also have a great, casual patio perfect for hanging out with your dog. When I called to ask if they were dog friendly, the woman who answered said, “Yes, we love dogs!” so I felt pretty comfortable that my dog would be welcome here.

2373 Professor Ave.

No dog-friendly list would be complete without mentioning Edison’s. This Tremont bar is probably one of the most well known dog-friendly places in Cleveland. They even have it on their sign. You’re pretty likely to run into at least one dog every time you visit. Dogs are allowed out on the spacious patio, as well as inside the bar.

Barrio Tremont
806 Literary Rd.

This patio might be one of my favorites on the list. I love Barrio and was so excited when I discovered their beautiful Tremont patio is dog friendly (I have been told the Lakewood Barrio patio is NOT dog friendly). There is plenty of room on their patio to hang out with your dog and enjoy some delicious tacos. The staff is also really great with dogs. Hunter’s water bowl was never empty.

1404 W. 29th St.

This new addition to the “Hingetown” (Ohio City) scene has a decent-sized dog-friendly patio. This patio was especially impressive to me for how well the staff treated my dog. Multiple people brought him water and fawned over him. This actually might be Hunter’s favorite patio on the list.

Honorable Mentions

These are a couple of patios I either didn’t get to, or haven’t been yet with my dog, although I’ve heard they are all great dog friendly patios.

Sunset Grille
2800 Whiskey Island Drive

Felice Urban Cafe
12502 Larchmere Blvd.

Merwin’s Wharf
1875 Merwin Ave.

What is you and your dog’s favorite patio?


Dog Friendly Spotlight: Brunch

This past weekend I went to brunch to celebrate Hunter’s birthday a little early (it’s next Sunday, but I’ll be out of town) at Wine Bar Rocky River.  We invited some pom friends since Hunter loves a pom party and enjoyed Sunday’s great weather on one of the best patios in Cleveland. Hunter loves people watching and attention, so I’m pretty sure it’s exactly what he’d want to do for his birthday.

The only time dogs are allowed on Wine Bar Rocky River’s patio is on Sunday for brunch (from 10-1). The wine bar has a really great patio, one of the prettiest in Cleveland in my opinion, so I’m happy they allow dogs there at all even if it’s only for Sunday brunch. There were quite a few other dogs there on our visit, so it got a little chaotic (lots of barking) at a few different points. The patio is pretty spacious though, so the dogs were able to stay out of each other’s way for the most part.

As you can see from the photo above of Hunter, he was pretty excited about his pom brunch birthday party.

I highly recommend Wine Bar Rocky River’s dog friendly brunch. The beautiful leafy patio is the perfect setting to enjoy some good food and drinks (I recommend trying the pomegranate mimosa). And of course I love when a restaurant designates a special day to welcome dogs.


After you’ve checked out their brunch, here are some others to try before the summer is over:

Luxe – This Gordon Square restaurant is always dog friendly, but on Sundays they host a “Bow Wow Brunch.” It’s a pretty popular spot for dogs and every week the restaurant chooses a Bow Wow Brunch dog of the week to feature on its Facebook page.

Nighttown This Cleveland Heights restaurant/jazz club has a special patio dedicated to dogs, so it’s a good place to hit up for some brunch and dog time.

Lucky’sI love Lucky’s for brunch, so I highly recommend it as one to check out this summer with your dog.

Also, side note: one of Hunter’s pom guests, Rayne, is looking for a home! She was an awesome brunch companion, very calm and so sweet. Read more about her here:


Dog Friendly Spotlight: The Barking Spider Tavern

The Barking Spider is a no frills type of bar, making it the perfect place to hang out with your dog and enjoy a drink or two. The east side favorite allows dogs on its patio as well as inside the bar. Stop by at any time and you’re likely to see dogs hanging out inside and out.

I went to check it out last month and felt totally comfortable hanging out with my dog and my foster dog (miss ya Vinnie!). There is a patio out front and another outdoor seating area out back. In the warmer months the bar open its doors wide open, so it has an open air feel inside.

We made our way to the back seating area for our visit. The beautiful leafy patio is a great place to sit and enjoy a beer and listen to live music. The mulch is also really fun for the dogs, as we learned. Be prepared for your dog to be covered in mulch if you choose to hang out in the back area. Fun for dogs and for people! I’d recommend bringing your own water bowl, but you’ll have easy access to as much water as you need from the self serve water cooler inside the bar.

The Barking Spider is definitely a must visit for anyone who likes to visit dog friendly patios. You will feel totally comfortable hanging out with your dog, and will likely run into a lot of other dogs on your visit. Plus, most any time you go you’re likely to catch some live music. Hanging out enjoying a drink and live music with your dog? Sounds like a good night out to me.

The Barking Spider Tavern
11310 Juniper Lane, Cleveland


Open daily 2 pm to 1 am

Dog Friendly Spotlight: Nighttown

I often feel bad that I don’t cover the dog friendly scene on the east side as much as I do on the west side. It’s not on purpose, though, it just seems that there are so many more dog friendly places on the west side. (But please let me know if I am missing any patios.)

That’s why I was excited to read about Nighttown opening two new patios last summer – one of them specifically for dog lovers. The jazz club/restaurant/bar has two outdoor patios, one is semi-enclosed and the one directly in the back of the restaurant is for us dog loving patrons.

Nighttown is a Cleveland favorite, noted for its live music as well as its innovative menu. The restaurant serves brunch on Sundays as well as lunch and dinner every day. I went for Sunday brunch on my visit. It was a little confusing figuring out how to get seated at the patio, since there was no staff outside and I couldn’t bring my dog inside to find a hostess. My friend waited outside with the dogs while I found a hostess to get seated.


For some reason on our visit the dog friendly patio was empty. It seemed maybe we had just missed a brunch rush, or maybe due to the impending rain people didn’t want to risk sitting outside. Although I like that Nighttown has its own dog friendly patio, at least on my visit, sitting out there felt like being banished. Especially since the other patio was filled with people.


I am appreciative of any place that makes a special effort to include dogs, so I am assuming it just felt this way because no one else was out that morning. The service was definitely very dog friendly. The hostess came out and brought some water for the dogs and gave them the attention they were craving (which is very important for my dog).

The Verdict: Any place that promotes that it has a dog friendly patio is a good place to visit in my opinion. Although the atmosphere was slightly tainted by the fact the patio was deserted on my visit, it’s still a large, spacious patio perfect for enjoying a meal alongside your dog.

12387 Cedar Rd, Cleveland

Mon-Sat from 11:30am-3pm
Brunch on Sunday 10am-3pm
Dinner Sun-Thur 3pm-12:00am
Dinner Fri-Sat 3pm-1am