“Every time I go to the dog park, I have a smile on my face from the time that I walk in to the time that I leave,” says Mindy Kauffman, Sarasota real estate agent and co-founder of Boo’s Ice House and Dog Bar. Yes, you read that correctly—it’s ‘Dog Bar’—because even though dogs can’t drink beer, their owners sure can and will be able to do so in the presence of their four-legged friends this summer at the new dog-centric hangout spot. Boo’s—named after Kauffman and her husband and co-founder Bobby Boivin’s pitbull rescue—was originally inspired by the couple’s frequent trips to the Dog Bar in St. Petersburg. For years, they would joke to each other about starting one in Sarasota. Eventually, that joke turned into a reality when, after searching through eight or nine properties, the couple landed on the historic Ice House on 10th Street in Sarasota’s Rosemary district. “One of the big reasons we wanted to put it in the Rosemary District is because the Ice House is in between three newer apartment complexes, all of which are dog friendly. Every time you’re walking in that area you see people walking their dogs,” says Kauffman.

Boo's Ice House and Dog Bar brings a new venue where both pups and their owners can play. 1314 10th St. Sarasota, 34236, boosdogbar.com, @boosdogbar


The Ice House will be home to 5,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor dog play space—with partitioned areas for large and small dogs—along with a small-scale restaurant and bar where dog owners and non-dog owners alike can enjoy good food and cold drinks all while keeping an eye on their four-legged counterparts. “The space has five raised doors and skylights—so when it’s nice out we’ll raise up the doors and it will feel as outside as possible while still inside. Ultimately when it’s really nasty out we can climate control it as well,” adds Kauffman. In addition to offering dog day-care services, the Boo’s will have a non-exclusive membership program—for the dogs, not the humans. “It’s really just a way for us to keep track of the dogs and to make sure that they have all their vaccinations and are social. We’ll have some temperament testing to ensure that the dogs are happy and sociable, but not full scale temperament testing,” says Boivin.

Although including a restaurant was not initially in the couple’s plans for the venue, Sarasota zoning restrictions mandated that to serve alcohol outdoors Boo’s had to either be a restaurant or a hotel. This unexpected challenge, however, turned out to be a blessing in disguise. With the closing of Goodfellas Winery and Café, Kauffman and Boivin were able to recruit the owner, David Grammer and the rest of the staff to Boo’s. “The restaurant is going to be just simple food with good burgers and good pizza. David is bringing over his wood fired pizza oven and running the restaurant. While it’s sad that Goodfellas closed down, Boo’s does afford David the opportunity to have a restaurant downtown, which is something that I believe he always wanted to do,” attests Boivin. With the community behind them, Kauffman and Boivin look forward to making Boo’s Ice House and Dog Bar a fun and welcoming place for all - regardless of if you have two or four legs.