By Emily Harrington
It’s no longer just big cities that accommodate customers and their canine companions. I often picture a fancy-dressed woman toting a designer-clad dog in a Louis Vuitton bag while strutting through the urban streets of Los Angeles or New York City. But, that picture has changed a bit. Taking your pup with you wherever you go is not just for the rich and famous. This trend has most certainly trickled down to our modest but thriving downtowns.
The Champaign and Urbana downtowns have embraced the need and wants of their dog-loving customers. With the warm weather upon us you can obviously see the many beer gardens and outdoor eating areas bustling and barking with activity.
Here’s a list of downtown Champaign businesses that are dog friendly:
Aroma Cafe + Kitchen
Big Grove Tavern
The Blind Pig Brewery
The Blind Pig Co.
Café Kopi (offers water bowls for doggie patrons)
Destihl Restaurant & Brew Works
KoFusion (outside gated area)
Pekara Bakery and Bistro
Here’s a list of downtown Urbana businesses that are dog friendly:
It’s important to note that Urbana’s Market at the Square does not allow any animals for the safety of their patrons.
Of all the downtown shops and restaurant employees surveyed, they all had similar disclaimers to their acceptance of a customer’s furry friends.
Is your dog destined for downtown?
- The dogs should be on the smaller side. Big dogs are going to have trouble meandering though rows of merchandise or tables full of people and food/drink.
- Pick up your dog’s doo. This is a pet peeve (pun intended) of shop owners. It can make for an instantly unpleasant trip downtown if you step in doo.
- Your dog needs to a have a quiet and demure nature about them. A dog that disturbs others will be asked to leave.
- If an employee of the business has a dog allergy and is working the day you come in with your dog, they may not be allowed for the employee’s safety.
- It’s the businesses decision and right if they allow dogs and/or if they allow your dog to stay. If the dog is disruptive to customers or merchandise your canine will be asked to leave.
- Service dogs are the exception and are accepted inside and out at all downtown locations.
It’s simple—pooches are an extension of the family unit. You can take your kids to shop, so why not your canine pals? Thankfully our downtowns recognize these doggies as valuable customers and welcome your canine pets with open paws.
Did we miss a pet-friendly location? Add them in the comments below!
Emily Harrington is a Chambana townie that left her 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. job to be a 24/7 mom to a dreamy son. Still interested in writing, Emily uses some of naptime to practice her passion and keep her mind right. Emily is a happy wife with a happy life because she fell for a fellow townie. Oh, and let’s not forget her other son, a degenerate canine named Heppenheimer.