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Doggies and Dining: Taking Your Pooch to a Restaurant

Jul 26, 2011 04:18PM ● By Anonymous


I have a precious pooch, Porter, who is small, well-behaved, and easily portable. He's a pug/chihuahua mix, about 10 pounds, and people fall in love with him everywhere we go.

I only got him about three months ago, but I've brought him along to a few Annapolis-area restaurants. I had no idea -- and I suppose those restaurants didn't either -- that it was against the law and those restaurants could be fined, even if Porter and I stayed outside.

Luckily, Delegate Dan K. Morhaim realize this was, well, kind of silly. He sponsored the Dining Out Growth Act of 2011 in the spring, which would allow restaurants to determine if dogs are allowed at their outdoor spaces. However, there's a catch -- the restaurants must first apply to the Department of Health and wait 30 days before allowing dogs. 

Additionally, "Under the new law, which had bi-partisan support in the legislature, dogs are prohibited from passing through the interior of restaurants, and will only be allowed in designated parts of the outdoor areas. Restaurants can also limit the size and breeds of dogs they will allow, and owners can use their discretion in refusing entry to any patron and their pet," according to an article in The Baltimore Sun.

So, now the question is, where should Porter and I visit next? Last time I was downtown Annapolis, I really wanted to go to Pusser's to enjoy a beer on the waterfront patio, but it seemed like the only way to get to the patio was through the restaurant -- a no-no.  We enjoyed visiting the Sly Fox Pub and outdoor seating at McGarvey's. Stan & Joe's on West Street allows dogs on its back patio. has compiled a list of dog-friendly establishment in the city, but there's some missing on there.

If you happen to be visiting Ocean City this summer, Mackey's on 54th Street is super dog-friendly. The whole restaurant is open-air, so you can take your dog anywhere on the whole property. Without asking, the servers will bring the dog water and they are all eager to pet and coo over your pooch. Porter and I visited on Friday night, and we saw quite a few other dogs there, even during the late-night hours.

Where do you like to take your dog?