The sign above the bar at the Armadillo Bar & Grill in Kingston pretty much says it all: “Dogs Welcome, People Tolerated.” Owner Merle Borenstein is a vocal animal activist who has long welcomed well-behaved canines to hang out on the patio of the popular Mexican joint she opened more than 20 years ago.
“Some of our clientele are driving up from the city on a Friday and they have their dogs in the car. We don’t want dogs sitting in a hot car while people are eating. So, we let them come on the patio and sit in the shade with their family. We serve them poached chicken breasts and ice water,” she says. “Sometimes we’ll even freeze chicken stock and make it into ice cubes for them.”
Borenstein rattles off the names of some of her regulars. “There is Cooper, the chocolate Labradoodle; Percy, the Yorkie; Paisley, the Peekineese,” she says before noting that Gunther, a Boxer, was even wed to another pooch right there on the patio.
Says Borenstein: “Our only requirement is that the dogs are leashed and well-behaved. Sure, occasionally one or two dogs bark, but it all works pretty well.”
Here are a couple of other restaurants that also put out the welcome mat for your beloved canines:
While “Meatloaf Mondays” and fish and chips are draws at Red Dot Restaurant & Bar, smokers also love this neighborhood institution in Hudson knowing they are free to light up in the shadow of the welcoming outdoor fireplace. Likewise the garden, lush with greenery and bright yellow tables, also welcomes pooches.
Le Chambord, a one-time circa-1863 Georgian mansion in Hopewell Junction, makes a lovely backdrop for an inn. But those who can’t steal away for the entire night can come for dinner, where the dog-friendly, flower-bedecked terrace is an equally romantic lair for pistachio-encrusted rack of lamb.