When Karah Lindbergh moved from New Orleans to Flagstaff in March, she worried that she wouldn’t be able to take her dog everywhere like she had in the past.
Instead, she found that in Flagstaff she could take her dog to even more places.
When Lindbergh gets off from her dietitian job each day, she lets her mini long-haired dachshund, Zoe, out of her crate and into her shoulder bag. Zoe accompanies Lindbergh to local restaurants, bars, grocery stores, shops and even the hair salon.
“She’s my little sidekick,” Lindbergh said of the retired race dog.
Flagstaff has two official dog parks, 15 veterinarians, 40 dog-friendly hotels, 37 dog-friendly restaurants, and many more breweries and bars that are open to canines.
In Arizona, non-service dogs are allowed at restaurants in areas that are not used for food preparation, such as outdoor patios.
Cecily Maniaci, who allows pets in the patio area at both of her Toasted Owl locations, said bringing pets out to dine is something new for her.
“Growing up, we were never allowed to have our pets with us in so many different venues that are available today,” she said. “I think it is great that we live in a time where your pet can accompany you throughout your daily activities. Pets offer us unconditional love and are great source of comfort as we go through our lives.”
Dog owners are very respectful of Toasted Owl’s patio space, Maniaci said. As long as the “best dog manners” are on display, she sees the four-legged customers as a plus.
“It is a balance for sure between the dogs, the owners and the staff, but like anything in life, it’s all about balance,” Maniaci said.
Maniaci explained that the staff sweeps or washes down the patios every day. One Sunday there were 88 dogs throughout the day that the staff washed up after.
Satchmo’s on the east side of town gets a lot of business from tourists who use apps to help locate dog-friendly restaurants, said general manager Evonne Shirzadegan.
“Aside from some excited barking, face licking, and tail wagging, we really don’t run into many problems,” said Shirzadegan of their dog-friendly patio.
The manager added that Satchmo’s is named after a dog who shares the same Louis Armstrong nickname that the Creole restaurant embraces.
“The owner has always been a huge dog lover, so when he opened the business with patio space, it was a no-brainer to include dogs as part of our customer base,” said Shirzadegan.
Cornish Pasty kept their southside patio dog-friendly when they opened in May 2017. Previously the venue belonged to Mia’s Lounge, a bar named after a dog which was often packed with canines.
Now customers can eat Cornish Pasty’s signature meat or potato-filled pies on the patio with their pets. Owner Ryan Hays said he “hopes the owners don’t feel the need to let the pets eat off the plates.” To avoid this problem, the British-based restaurant provides “clean and sanitary dishes specifically for dogs,” he said.
Breweries and bars that do not serve food can allow pets inside the establishment if the owners allow.
Mother Road’s operation manager Oliver Adams said the brewery “keeps a stock of water bowls, doggie bags and treats” at their downtown and Butler Avenue taprooms.
Wanderlust Brewery in Sunnyside also has water bowls available and treats at the ready. When weather is nice, the brewery opens up its roll-up garage door combining the outside patio and inside bar area. With the bar halfway outside, it makes for a laid back feel and owner Nathan Friedman explained that it just felt natural to let dogs in when they opened the brewery in 2012.
“We know that many folks consider dogs a part of their family, and we wanted to make them feel welcome,” Friedman said. “Lots of people come by after a hike or run or some sort of outdoor activity, so they are already out and about with their dog, so it was natural to let them bring them along.”
Wanderlust bartenders can even bring their dogs to work with them. However, Friedman said the brewery has “had a couple incidents with dogs being loud and unfriendly to each other, and had to implement a leash rule a little over a year ago.”
Steven Romeo of Hops on Birch admitted that “every here and there dogs might not get along.”
Despite occasionally having to ask customers with dogs to leave, Romeo still supports having dogs inside his downtown bar because they make people smile and add to the fun, he said. He thinks the fact that dogs are allowed in at all helps the owners keep the dogs on their best behavior.
Most of the restaurant, brewery and bar owners said that if accidents happen, the owners take responsibility and clean up after their pets immediately. The establishments were also unanimous in the fact that they thought being pet-friendly drew in more customers and was better for business.
And it’s not just dogs that are coming through Flagstaff businesses.
Ironically, a customer at Satchmo’s once brought their pot-bellied pig to the barbecue restaurant and pet birds have accompanied their owners to The Toasted Owl, Shirzadegan and Maniaci said.
Over the years, Peace Surplus manager Gary Branges recalled seeing cats, rats, snakes, lizards, parrots and even a monkey visit the shop with their owners.
“We do not discriminate against anyone’s pet,” he said. “As long as the pet owner keeps their pet under control all are welcome.”
Check out next week’s Daily Sun for Part Two of this series.