All photographs courtesy of Vin Room
When Phoebe Fung, the owner and proprietor of Vin Room, was travelling in Europe and the USA, she was struck by how many restaurant patios allowed dogs. She wanted to make wining and dining with her own dog, Dom, easier here in Calgary. So, Fung has made two Vin Room patios dog-friendly several days of the week.
Vin Room Mission has two patios – a front-facing patio and a rooftop patio – but just the street-level patio is dog-friendly. The one patio at Vin Room West is dog-friendly. At both locations, dogs are welcome Sunday to Wednesday. “That gives us an opportunity to power wash the patio and clean the beds each week, and accommodate those who appreciate dining with human only Thursday to Saturday,” says Fung.
Fung says that the Vin Room Mission street-level patio can seat 15 people (and about 10 dogs) while the Vin Room West patio can seat 50 people.
The special dog-specific amenities
A lot of extra work was put in to make sure Vin Room’s furry guests are as comfortable as the human ones. Both Vin Room patios have custom-made dog beds in various sizes. Fung says the dog beds were made by the local company Red Eight Workshop and were designed in red, green and orange to match the upholstery on the Vin Room patios. The beds will be cleaned every week by Drycleaning by Dave.
There’s also a clean-up station, designed by the local company Ferrous and Fibre. To keep things looking classy, dog bags are stored in wine glasses and guests can find sanitizer and paper towels nearby.
The dog hydration station was also designed to be in keeping with Vin Room’s look. Fung says there are stainless steel Champagne glasses of varying heights for the dog guests. (They’re filled with water, though. Not Champagne.)
Treats aren’t just for human patrons
Vin Room partnered with Bon A-Pet-Treat Pet Bakery and the two Vin Room locations are now offering exclusive dog treats too. And they’re a hit, at least according to Fung’s dog, who was the official taste tester. (Apparently cats like these treats too.) The treats are made with ingredients like pumpkin, liver and flax seeds. And there are going to be a lot of them. Fung says each week, 100 treats will be baked at Vin Room Mission and 100 baked at Vin Room West.
You don’t need to be sitting on a dog-friendly patio to get one of these complimentary treats either. If your dog isn’t with you on the patio, Fung says you can take one of the free treats with you if you have a pet at home.
Other offerings for dogs on the Vin Room patios
Vin Room has also started a Puppies and Prosecco training program. The program kicked off on Sunday, May 28. Classes are every other Sunday, and run on the same Sundays at the two Vin Room locations. It is led by the local training group Dogma and covers topics each session. One class is $40 and includes the training, two glasses of wine or Prosecco, a $20 gift certificate from Drycleaning by Dave, housemade dog treats and other treats from Doodle Dogs and Global Pet Foods West 85th. Owners can also request a custom-made dog tag made by local jeweler Ellinor Stenroos.
The classes are intimate and run on the dog-friendly patios, weather permitting. Only 15 dogs can attend the bi-weekly class at Vin Room West and six at Vin Room Mission. Register in advance for the $40 class at eventbrite.ca.
There’s also a charitable element to all of this. Fung says $5 from each registration is donated to the Calgary Humane Society. And, on the last Sunday of each month the Calgary Humane Society will be on the Vin Room West patio with an adoption booth, sharing information on how to adopt a rescue. They even bring along a few prospective adoptees.
Vin Room Mission, 2310 4 St. S.W., 403-457-5522; Vin Room West, 8561 8A Ave. S.W., 587-353-8812, vinroom.com