Editor’s Note: 5/19/16: This story has been updated to include a list of participating Saratoga restaurants
If you’ve seen all the tables and chairs along the sidewalks on Broadway and surrounding streets throughout downtown Saratoga, then you’d know Patio dining has begun!
If it’s a nice day, the best place to enjoy a good meal or a cocktail is outside on the patio. Fresh air, a nice breeze, the sun shining down on you… it doesn’t get any better!
To make patio dining even more fun (for the whole family), Gov. Cuomo signed a bill into law late last year that allows dogs on restaurant patios throughout New York State. Saratoga restaurants have since embraced this law, and there are a variety of options available for you and your canine pal.
Now, don’t expect every patio to turn into a petting zoo, the final decision still falls on the restaurant owner’s own policy. However, the law now states that any restaurant that has a separate patio entrance (doesn’t require you to walk through the main dining room) may allow our dogs to dine with us.
The list of participating dog-friendly restaurants currently includes:
- Boca Bistro
- Lake Local
- Peabody’s Sports Bar
- The Local
- Putnam Den
- Saratoga Winery
- The Icehouse
- The Wine Bar
There are some additional rules that come with the bill – all dogs must be leashed, and restaurants must display appropriate signage explaining their policy. Employees must wash their hands after petting a dog. And any food or water provided to a dog must be in a single use container, as opposed to a community water bowl.
To promote this new law, there is now a Dog-Friendly Downtown (DFD) program in Saratoga. Businesses that want to market themselves as dog friendly can join the program and display a DFD sticker in their window.
Reactions to the bill have been mixed, with a portion of the population standing firmly against dining with dogs. We doubt that all patios are going to offer this, and if it becomes an issue, market forces will likely fix the problem. People won’t eat or drink around dogs if they don’t want to, and restaurant owners are not going to maintain a policy if it’s going to cost them business.
Nonetheless, many Saratoga dog owners are excited for this change and the opportunity to bring their dog with them to more places. For a full list of participating DFD businesses, check out there official site.
What do you think? Should dogs be allowed on patios while their owners eat and drink?
- News10 – Saratoga restaurants with outdoor dining join Dog-Friendly Downtown Program