The First Dog Bar in Sarasota Offers Delights for Everyone

Good Bite

Pictured: Dogs can enjoy the play areas while their owners relax. Photo by Laura Paquette.

Man’s best friend can enjoy kicking back at the neighborhood bar in Sarasota’s Rosemary District. Boo’s Ice House and Dog Bar, owned by Mindy Kaufman and her husband Bobby Boivin, opened on May 22 for humans and their four-legged friends.

Kaufman and Boivin frequented a dog bar out of town and felt that concept would be a great addition to Sarasota. “Having a drink and watching all the dogs play made us smile,” Kaufman says. The couple spent a few years looking for the perfect property and landed on the current location near dog-friendly condos and apartments. They loved the homey feel of the space, enhanced by the special touches the pair added. Most of Boo’s is a spacious indoor play area for dogs, complete with wooden obstacle courses and vintage dog-themed posters. A dining section sits adjacent to the play area, separating the dogs from the food-laden tables with a fence, ensuring that guests can watch them play without worrying that a furry snout might gobble up their slice of pizza. Another dining space, walled in by glass, offers a more traditional dining experience and an excellent view of the kitchen. Outside, a patio with picnic tables flanks another play area. Boivin constructed the bar, light fixtures and adorable wood and epoxy tables embedded with wooden paw prints, incorporating detail into every facet of the space.

Boo’s beverage and restaurant menu displays the same intentional planning. The names of the meals and drinks, like the Mastiff Burger and Best in Show Pizza, round out the experience. The team recommends the Rings on a Tail, crispy onion rings served on a metal dog’s extended tail as well as the Dream Dog Pizza, featuring basil pesto, mozzarella cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, artichoke hearts and fresh basil. Restaurant Manager Dave Grammer, of Goodfella Cafe and Winery fame, helped develop the menu of elevated offerings tasty enough to warrant a visit for the food alone. The innovative cocktail program offers fun twists on classic cocktails, all with a canine flair sure to delight guests. “I want to create a safe and comfortable space that lets the dogs do their magic and put a smile on everyone’s face when they come in,” says Kaufman. “People can forget what’s going on in their lives and watch the dogs have fun.”

All humans are welcome at Boo’s, but visiting dogs must have a membership plan, offered as annual and monthly memberships or daily passes. To learn more about membership programs, visit boosdogbar.com. Boo’s Ice House and Dog Bar, 1314 10th St., Sarasota, boosdogbar.com.

Pictured: Dogs can enjoy the play areas while their owners relax. Photo by Laura Paquette.

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