Photos: K. Lessard
(Editor’s note: Our Wine Pass, which scores ya FREE wine at 25 dog-friendly patios, is on sale for just $25 right here. Patio Leashes, which make visiting patios with your pooch a snap, are also a summer must!)
I spent the holiday weekend doing two important things: researching the best of the Twin Cities by day, and avoiding the fireworks by night. What area did I circle and sniff for ya’ll this time? I thought you’d never bark.
Longfellow is a neighborhood in Minneapolis, and I was lucky enough to spend some time rooting through some of its premiere dog-friendly destinations. Not only is it in the center of it all, Longfellow boasts many fur-friendly locations close to one another. This pleases me and my pedicured paws, ones my Main Human ensures are pristine each day. Don’t ask me why.
I consider the Longfellow neighborhood to be Da Woof; here’s why I give it two paws up and a Basenji-tail wag:
Like a pupsicle on a hot summer day, Longfellow sports almost everything to wet the whistle and pique the palette. Let’s start with Longfellow Grill, host of Sidewalk Dog’s upcoming Yappy Hour on 8/1. I consider myself to be somewhat of a regular there. Think of it like the local dog patio hangout that also includes a few humans enjoying great food and beverages. Staff will bring you a water bowl upon your request. But the high fives don’t stop there: while you’re in the neighborhood make sure to also visit Birchwood Cafe and The Howe Daily Kitchen & Bar — you can even get FREE wine there with Sidewalk Dog’s Wine Pass! And if you’re into burgers, burritos and beer, stop by Peppers and Fries – they even rated in the Twin Cities Burger Battle.
For the ultimate in great coffee, a cozy atmosphere, amazing service (thanks “J”, soon-to-be-dogfather) and Fido-friendliness, look no further than independently-owned Blue Moon Café, pictured above. While I enjoyed crisp water in a bowl exclusively for puppers, my humans enjoyed their respective coffees while lounging on the patio which is pretty typical of them. I’m told Blue Moon’s cold press may even be the best in the city, which’ll please the humans that drink such things, and they even have board games for those who dine inside. As for me, I’m looking forward to more of those on-the-counter treats and plan to return soon to taste a few. While you’re in the area, make sure to stop by the patio of another gathering gem in the World of Caffeine and Corgis: Fireroast Café.
Although my internal melon collie (get it?) psyche often leads me to the nearest couch, I agree that exercise is important. Longfellow is full of active dogs and their associated two-leggeds, both on the West River Parkway Trails (good dogs stay on the walking path) and shopping for all things two wheel at The Hub Bike Co-Op. (Editor’s note: Here are 5 ways to bike with your dog.) I’ve never seen so many bikes in all of my dog lives, and thanks to the friendly faces at the Twin Cities’ only cooperatively owned bike shop, which offers demo bikes, bikes for sale, and a top dog service department, I now have a much greater appreciation of these splendid machines. Dogs will enjoy the water bowl up front, and the treats behind the counter (when in stock).
You want it? Longfellow’s got it. I started my day at Frattallone’s Ace Hardware, where they sell hardware, dog food, tools, dog treats, top quality plants…and did I mention dog stuff? Not just stuff – they have a really great selection of all things dog including toys (my fave), beds (also my fave) – even a dog showerhead (if you like getting wet). Dogs can go right up to the counter for a treat and the service is scent-sational. From there I visited Corazon to pick up a few classic gifts and snag a few treats (if you like ‘em, you can buy ‘em there too); East Lake Liquors for more treats for me (and a little bit of everything for the humans); and Soderberg’s Floral and Gift, home to pups Princess and Lucy, for even more water, treats, dog gifts, and a $5 Friday bouquet (offered each Friday). Don’t forget to also stop by River Lake True Value Hardware to round out your hardware shopping experience.
Although this is also a shopping experience, Hymie’s Vintage Records gets its own Kramer Canine Category because it’s as cool as a Spaniel in a Slip N Slide. Hymie’s is home to 13-year-old pup Irene; not only will you meet her in the store, you’ll see her a lot because she’s also the mascot. Carrying both classic and new music, like a lil’ James Brown which I’m Husky howlin’ to right now, the original store opened in 1986 but Irene has basically owned it herself the past eight years. She must blog too, because the website is totally wicked. What a dog.