Dog park, bar, beer garden combo to open in Detroit’s West Village this summer

Founders say safety is No. 1 priority

Barkside dog park, bar, and beer garden to open in Detroit this year. (Stucky Vitale Architects)

DETROIT – Barkside -- a dog park, bar, and beer garden combination concept -- is coming to Detroit’s West Village later this summer.

According to co-founders David Oh and Cody Williams, the 10,000-square-foot space will be the first destination in Detroit where unleashed dogs can safely play and socialize while their owners sit back and enjoy craft beer, cocktails, and coffee.

“Barkside is a social destination for dogs and their humans to relax and enjoy a beverage in the company of others,” the two founders said in a statement. “Our safe, monitored play yard allows dogs to have fun with their furry friends while their humans enjoy local beers -- all among a friendly staff and community of fellow dog lovers.”

Drinks, please!

Barkside will have “paw-fect” menus for both dogs and humans. Our furry friends will be able to enjoy “dog beer,” treats, and birthday pupcakes. Their human companions will have a variety of choices including draft beer, canned beer, wine and spritzers, drink specials, mocktails and other non-alcoholic beverages and sodas, quality coffee, espressos, lattes, and cappuccinos.

The founders say there was a special focus on Detroit and Michigan brands while curating their beverage menu.

Barkside dog park, bar, and beer garden to open in Detroit this year. (Stucky Vitale Architects)

The dog park

Barkside will have over 10,000 square feet of space for dogs and humans to frolic, according to the founders.

There will be more than 3,000 square feet of indoor space that includes an indoor dog park, a bar, a check-in/lobby area, and restrooms. Outside will feature 7,000 square feet of green space with seating for more than 100 guests. The outdoor area will be completely fenced in and will have space for dogs to play, a covered patio, televisions, and a secondary bar.

Barkside dog park, bar, and beer garden to open in Detroit this year. (Stucky Vitale Architects)

Safety precautions

Williams told Local 4 that safety is their No. 1 priority. He said they are working to create a safe space for dogs and their human counterparts.

“One example of how we are working to create a safe space is that we will have trained staff on site -- a role we’re calling “rufferees” -- dedicated to monitoring the dog park, picking up after dogs and sanitizing, and refreshing water bowls,” Williams said.

All employees at Barkside will be trained to read a dog’s body language and will know how to quickly de-escalate any situations that may arise, according to Williams.

First-time Barkside-goers will need to upload up-to-date vaccine documentation from their veterinarian. Williams says there will be an online portal where customers can upload these documents in advance.

Barkside dog park, bar, and beer garden to open in Detroit this year. (Stucky Vitale Architects)

Heading to Barkside

If you’re planning on heading over to Barkside, there are a few different ways to enjoy what the space has to offer.

There will be day passes available, as well as monthly and annual memberships for dogs. Admission is free for humans who visit without a dog.

Barkside is planning on hosting special events including dog yoga, adoption events, puppy training classes, trivia, singles mingles, breed meetups, and more.

“We are both innately passionate about dogs,” Williams said in a statement. “Like many of us who love our dogs, we want to go out but often feel guilty leaving them at home. Visiting other dog bars around the country, we realized an urgent need for Barkside in Detroit. Not only are dog bars an exciting place for dogs to socialize, but it also allows like-minded people (animal lovers) a chance to gather and build a community. Our four-legged friends offer a great icebreaker to meet people and make new friends.”

The concept coming to 7960 Kercheval Avenue is still in the works. The group hopes to unleash Barkside and welcome dogs and dog lovers later this summer.

Stay up to date with all things Barkside by visiting their website, Instagram, and/or Facebook.