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precarious since 1997 | by maryann johanson

question of the weekend: How do you feel about pets in bars and restaurants?

So sorry to hear this newsy tidbit from my hometown (from the New York Times blog City Room):

Of course, it has always been a violation of the city’s health code to allow a dog anywhere near a beer tap. But for years, this has been one of the most widely — and gleefully — violated rules in the city.

Not any more.

Since the health department adopted a letter grade system for bars and restaurants last year, bar owners say, health inspectors are allowing no wiggle room for four-legged patrons.

The stricter enforcement is apparently bringing to an end a rich tradition of dog-friendly bars in New York.

During inspections, many owners said they were surprised to learn that dogs were not allowed even in outdoor seating areas. Neither does a bar’s dearth of actual food products provide any cover. “Beer, wine and spirits have always been classified as food,” a department spokeswoman wrote in an e-mail. Only service dogs are permitted in spaces that serve food or drink of any kind.

Bummer. I like the hominess of a place that allows dogs… and I like a pub or bar or eating establishment that is home to its own resident animals. Maybe a super swanky restaurant doesn’t need a cat prowling around… but one of the nicest pubs I’ve found so far in Croydon in one where a lovely black lab lives: the pub is nice because a friendly dog lives there and comes over to say hello to you. (Here’s a resource for finding dog-welcoming watering holes in the U.K.: Doggie Pubs.)

How do you feel about pets in bars and restaurants?

(If you have a suggestion for a QOTD/QOTW, feel free to email me. Responses to this QOTW sent by email will be ignored; please post your responses here.)

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