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DOGS & SUDS: New concept will combine dog park, beer garden

 DOGS & SUDS: New concept will combine dog park, beer garden

A rendering of Barkside, which is scheduled to open this summer.

Barkside — a combined dog park and beer garden — is coming to southeast Michigan later this year, offering the first destination in the Motor City where unleashed dogs can play and socialize safely in the park and indoor play areas while owners enjoy craft beers, cocktails, and coffee.

The announcement of the new dog bar — set to open in late-summer 2023 at 7960 Kercheval Ave. in Detroit — was made by Barkside founders and dog lovers David Oh and Cody Williams.

“Barkside is a social destination for dogs and their humans to relax and enjoy a beverage in the company of others,” said Williams and Oh. “Our safe, monitored play yard allows dogs to have fun with their furry friends while their humans enjoy local beers — all among a friendly staff and community of fellow dog lovers.”At the new location, a paw-fect menu will also be available for dogs to lick up their own “dog beer,” treats and birthday pupcakes.

Barkside will also host special events including dog yoga, adoption events, puppy training classes, trivia, singles mingles, and breed meetups, just to name a few.

Multiple membership options

Barkside will offer day passes for the casual visitor who brings their dog, as well as monthly and annual memberships for those who want to make Barkside part of their regular routine.

This rendering shows the exterior dog play area for Barkside.
This rendering shows the exterior dog play area for Barkside

Admission is free for humans who visit Barkside without a dog.

Modern, colorful, clean and safe for dogs and dog parents, the venue will be staffed with friendly employees who monitor dogs and humans to make sure everyone has a fun, happy experience.

Barkside will feature 3,000-plus square feet of indoor space with an indoor dog park, bar, check-in/lobby area, and restrooms. Additionally, there will be 7,000 square feet of connected outdoor green space with seating for more than 100 guests.

The outdoor space at Barkside will be completely fenced in and feature space for dogs to play, a covered patio, TVs, and a secondary bar.

Barkside will include a sprawling indoor space for humans and dogs.
Barkside will include a sprawling indoor space for humans and dogs

As current Detroit residents, Oh and Williams are excited to introduce Barkside in West Village and believe the location is perfectly located for an everyday social spot. Along with the Detroit opening, Oh and Williams are actively scouting locations to expand into the metro Detroit suburbs and beyond.

Menu items include a focus on Detroit and Michigan brands including draft beer, canned beer, wine and spritzers; drink specials; mocktails and other non-alcoholic beverages and sodas; quality coffee, espressos, lattes and cappuccinos.

These entrepreneurs are doggone smart people

Williams, formerly of Toronto, has been a Detroiter for more than 12 years. The proud papa of a Goldendoodle (Marshall, 5) and Sheepadoodle (Marley, 3), Cody has more than eight years of experience in project management and internal communications.

Williams earned a BA in Economics and Finance from Michigan State University. Oh, a first generation Korean-American, and longtime Detroiter, is the parent of a Labradoodle (Malla, 5) and has more than a decade of experience in corporate finance and strategy from Amazon, Rivian and Duo Security. Oh holds a BA in Finance from Michigan State University.

“We are both innately passionate about dogs,” Williams said. “Like many of us who love our dogs, we want to go out but often feel guilty leaving them at home. Visiting other dog bars around the country, we realized an urgent need for Barkside in Detroit. Not only are dog bars an exciting place for dogs to socialize, but it also allows like-minded people (animal lovers) a chance to gather and build a community. Our four-legged friends offer a great icebreaker to meet people and make new friends.”

Thoughtfully-designed space

At Barkside, the space has been thoughtfully designed to maximize the experience for dogs and humans, while ensuring safety for every visitor. Additionally, dog parents are required to provide proof that their dog is up to date on vaccinations prior to entering.

“Our team at Barkside has a wealth of experience in the hospitality business and truly cares for canines – we’re committed to creating bonds and fostering connections in the Detroit community,” Oh said. “We’re excited to launch an engaging scene for dog owners to connect and allow for our furry friends to expand their horizons, our space at Barkside will be equipped to handle all kinds of positive interactions for years to come,” Williams said.

Barkside anticipates welcoming dogs and dog-lovers in late summer 2023.

Membership pricing and full programing details will be made public later this summer.

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Ed Wright

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