At last, a legitimate reason to shake your fist in the air and yell, "This bar has gone to the dogs!"
Billing itself as "Minnesota's only dog bar," Unleashed Hounds and Hops, a new dog park-meets-beer hall opens today on the edge of downtown Minneapolis (200 E. Lyndale Av. N., Mpls., unleashedhoundsandhops.com).
Adjacent to the Minneapolis Farmer's Market, the warehouse space is two-thirds off-leash play area for canine companions and one-third enclosed bar and eating area, where you can bring a leashed pup and watch the play area from behind sound-proof glass. Once the weather warms up, a large, outdoor enclosure will also be available for dogs to roam and romp.
A staff of trained "Ruffarees" are on hand to keep things under control, but there are also plenty of rules. You'll need to register your dog(s) and sign a waiver form. Dogs under the age of 4 months are not allowed. All pets must be up to date on vaccinations and spayed or neutered. Guests are limited to two dogs per person.
When they reach capacity, staff will start a waitlist and call or text patrons as space becomes available, said Lauren Carter, whose mother and brother are two of the three founders of Unleashed Hounds & Hops.
"We'll have a list of local breweries in the neighborhood that accept leashed dogs, where they can hang until we text," Carter said. Eventually, a live stream on the Unleashed website will give guests a sense of how busy the park is and whether they're in for a wait.
The menu is predominantly composed of gourmet hot dogs (including vegan dogs by Herbivorous Butcher), sandwiches and salads, and includes a number of vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free choices. From the bar comes a succinct beer and wine menu, as well as a few booze-free options -- including Hairless Dog nonalcoholic beer.
Admission is $6.99 per dog, and an additional $4 for a second dog. Monthly and annual memberships are available at a discounted rate.
Unleashed is open from 2 to 10 p.m., Tuesday through Thursday; 2 to 11 p.m. on Friday; 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturday; and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Sunday. The dog park/bar is closed on Monday.
As the first unleashed dog park/bar in the state, Unleashed is a test case for the owners. If it works, said Carter, more locations could be in store.