It’s a mild Sunday afternoon with a few wispy clouds overhead as Brittany Luongo takes a sip from her beverage on the patio at Providence Social. Luongo, a resident of the Elmwood Village, isn’t alone. Stretched out at her feet, a bowl of water by his side, is Dutch, her three-year-old Rottweiler/Shar Pei mix. Luongo’s self-described “baby,” Dutch is a regular at Providence Social, a tavern on Buffalo’s West Side that is one of a growing number of eating and drinking establishments that allow dogs on their outdoor patios.
“He is a rescue dog and he has really high anxiety,” Luongo said. “He is really connected to me so it’s nice to be able to take him out with me to dinner and have him there, instead of home alone.”
Luongo said she has never had an issue with Dutch acting up or bothering other diners or dogs during their outings.
“I know his temperament, and I think that’s really what it comes down to, knowing your dog,” she said. “I think if your dog is well-trained and socializes well with people and with other dogs, it can be a good experience.”
Luongo and Dutch are also regulars at Caffe Aroma on Elmwood Avenue. Michaela Schmidbauer is the manager of Caffe Aroma and she said the eatery has enjoyed a steady flow of four-legged customers since they opened the patio to dogs.
“In summer, there is always a dog or two hanging around on the patio,” she said. “Especially with our proximity to Bidwell Park.”
Echoing Luongo’s sentiment, Schmidbauer said they haven’t had any problems with the dogs, or with other customers taking issue with allowing dogs on the patio.
“I think because we are not just a restaurant, being more of a café scene, it is more widely accepted from the public,” she said. “Not everyone is coming to eat, and the feel is just a bit more relaxed.”
Caffe Aroma keeps a large water jug (donated by a dog owner who frequents the eatery) out for their furry guests, as well as a dog bowl to make sure they feel welcome.
“I think we have responsible dog owners and it makes for a really nice atmosphere,” Schmidbauer said.
Resurgence Brewing Company on Niagara Street began allowing dogs on its patio shortly after the New York law was passed in fall 2015. Manager Brandon Woodcock says that conscientious dog owners are the reason dog-friendly patios work.
“The people who bring their dogs respect the fact that we allow dogs on the patio, so they make sure they behave,” he said. “If it becomes an issue at some point, we’ll have to reconsider, but as of now, we’ve had no problems with the dogs, and no complaints from other customers.”
He credits the laid back atmosphere at Resurgence as conducive to bringing dogs for drinks.
“We are a brewery first, people come here for the beer,” he said. “So I think it just fits really well with everything we’re doing and the atmosphere we’re trying to achieve.”
As for Luongo and her sidekick Dutch, she said they are always looking for new places to enjoy a meal out together.
“I think it’s great that so many more places in the city are embracing this change,” she said. “It is just another reason to love living in the city.”
To find additional eateries in Buffalo that allow dogs on their patios, check out www.bringfido.com.