Woof in Boots, a doggie daycare, boarding and grooming facility at 719 West Eighth Avenue, is looking up for its next project. The company, owned by Vincent Palazzotto and John Comandari, is raising the roof on its existing building for a dog-friendly bar to be called Biscuits & Brews, which the two hope to open in late summer.
Biscuits & Brews will take up about 4,000 square feet across two roofs and will feature an indoor/outdoor bar and grill, unrestricted views of downtown and the Rocky Mountains, an on-leash patio, and a separate off-leash area where dogs can frolic while their humans enjoy beer or wine from the bar. This style of setup will be the first of its kind in the city, even though other dog-friendly drinkeries like Bark Bar and the Watering Bowl have come before it. The main difference, Palazzotto notes, is that Woof in Boots is already a licensed pet-care facility, and the off-leash area will be supervised by professionals.
That also means that customers will have to pay for the privilege. While guests in the on-leash area can hang out with their pooches free of charge (other than the price of any food and drinks they purchase), the off-leash area will essentially be an extension of the daycare, so dogs will be vetted by staff and monitored to ensure a safe and happy experience. Once their pets are vetted (which includes behavior and immunization checks), customers will be able to pay on a daily, monthly or yearly basis, with considerable discounts for paying in advance.
"Our goal is to have a good environment for both dogs and people," Comandari notes.
To do that, the partners have already worked with Denver's health department to come up with the safest way to serve food and beverages while accommodating our furry friends. The majority of the space is patio seating, and the city already allows canines on bar and restaurant patios with permission of the proprietor. The food program will be counter-service only, mostly bar food like burgers and pizzas, and all food handlers will stay behind the counter to avoid contact with pets.
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The partners are also taking neighbors into consideration: A wall at the back of the rooftop with an extended glass barrier will help reduce noise for residents in houses and apartments to the north without blocking views of the city for customers.
Biscuits & Brews wants to get the community involved in the project, and is raising funds through EquityEats, a crowdfunding website that allows individuals to invest set amounts in new businesses. EquityEats differs from other crowdfunding websites in that instead of essentially making a donation to a fledgling business and getting a small gift in return, EquityEats customers are actually investors who can see a return on their money. Check out the Biscuits & Brews page for more details.
Denver Biscuits & Brews is the first of what the pair hopes will become a national franchise, Palozzotto adds, with locations in arts districts in other dog-loving cities like Austin and San Francisco. But first the funding needs to come through; if they don't meet their fundraising goals, he says, he and Comandari will not be able to complete the project — at least not in time for Denver patio season.