The Park Bench Cafe in Huntington Beach Central Park has been rolling
out the welcome mat for dogs and their owners for decades. Here, Liz and
Wright Adaza of Redondo Beach breakfast with little Milo.
ANA VENEGAS, STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
That sad look on your dog’s face every time you leave the house never
stops breaking your heart. But what can you do? You’re headed to the
movies: No dogs allowed.
But there are plenty of places you can go in Orange County that are pet-friendly so your family need not be separated during your next outing.
Here’s a small roundup of places to bring your pup.
THE PARK BENCH CAFE
In Huntington Beach Central Park, The Park Bench Cafe opened in 1988 as an outdoor dining venue.
“On opening day, we only set up six tables outside as we were not
sure how receptive the public would be to this novel idea of eating
outdoors,” owner Mike Bartusick said. “It’s funny to say that now when
today, outside dining is the new norm.”
Not long after opening, diners started bringing their dogs.
“Over time, we became the place where people and pooches could enjoy a meal together,” Bartusick says.
Eventually Bartusick’s wife, Christie, developed the Canine Cuisine
dog menu, which includes tasty treats such as the Rover Easy (two
Before or after mealtime, the family can take a leisurely stroll around the park. All well-behaved, leashed dogs are welcome.
Add dogs to happy hour, and you can get pure joy for the whole family.
Yappy Hour at The Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel hosts close to 900
guests and 500-700 dogs every month, according to Deanne French, the
resort’s director of public relations. Pups get free dog biscuits and
drinks including bacon-, chicken- and beef-flavored water; their humans
can purchase beer, wine and barbecue.
Yappy Hour benefits animal-related charities.
Dates include May 19, June 16, July 21, Aug. 18 and Sept. 15. The
Yappy Howl-O-Ween Yappy Hour on Oct. 27 will include a doggie costume
contest, and Yappy Howl-iday on Dec. 4 will feature pictures with Santa.
Kriser’s Natural Pet store also offers Yappy Hour at its locations,
typically 5-7 p.m. on the second Wednesday of each month, with food and
treats for humans and dogs.
Details: There are several locations in Orange County; krisers.com
In 2015, it became legal for California restaurants to allow leashed
dogs on patios, though it was hardly unheard of before last year. Some
O.C. favorites with dog-friendly patios include Lazy Dog Restaurant
& Bar locations, Haven Gastropub in Old Towne Orange, and Cafe Beau
Soleil at Fashion Island in Newport Beach.
The Lazy Dog’s menu for canine pals includes a grilled hamburger patty or grilled chicken breast served with brown rice.
“For those who do have a dog, that is an important part of their
family, we provide a place for them to dine with their furry companion,
and I think they appreciate that,” says Lazy Dog Creative Director
Haven Gastropub partnered with JustFoodForDogs in Newport Beach to
create a menu available on Haven’s patio. The meals are 7-ounce, $4
dishes certified for human consumption, including beef and russet
potato, turkey and whole wheat macaroni, lamb and brown rice, chicken
and white rice, and fish and sweet potato.
Pascal Gimenez, executive chef and general manager at Cafe Beau
Soleil, says the restaurant allows pets on its indoor and outdoor
patios. While the restaurant doesn’t offer a menu for dogs, workers are
happy to add a side such as organic chicken breast or all-natural skirt
steak diced in a doggie bowl, he says.