Denver could be going to the dogs (on patios, at least)

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Are dogs at bars a guaranteed chick magnet -- or an annoyance? According to one reader, "People take their dogs into bars all the time in Denver. I see it everywhere and it's usually weird, single dudes trying to pick up girls, and it almost always works." Pop culture might agree, too: Just look at the recent Miller Light ads featuring Ken Jeong and a cute snorting piglet.

See also: Watering Bowl, "your best friend's bar," could finally open this week

But we're talking pups, not pigs, here, and thanks to a recent survey by the Denver Department of Environmental Health, we just might have an "official" answer.

The survey asked whether or not there should be more tolerance for customers accompanied by pooches on patios at Denver restaurants. The city received about 500 responses, and nearly 70 percent said they would like to see more tolerance for pets on patios, about 10 percent said the current standard is just fine and about 20 percent said that dogs should be kept away altogether.

According to Denver Food Establishment Regulations, right now restaurants must meet a few regulations before they can allow dogs on their patios -- the most pertinent being that a restaurant "does not provide table service for food or drinks in the outdoor dining area."

That's definitely limiting, as are other stipulations. So it's not surprising that there are only a few "registered" restaurants in Denver that are allowed to have dogs on their patios. One of those is Watering Bowl, located at 5411 Leetsdale Drive, which opened its doors a few weeks ago. And Bark Bar, at 4132 West 38th Avenue, is still going through final inspections, but should be open in a few weeks.

DEH conducted its survey to get a feel for what residents thought about pets on patios before drafting any possible changes to the city ordinance. But given the overwhelming vote in favor of more tolerance, a dog may soon be man's best friend not just in the home, but for a night on the town.

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