At this café, dogs and humans have their day
Inspired by the cat café phenomenon, although operating much differently, the first dog café has opened in lower Manhattan.
With cat cafés, visitors pet and play with local rescue cats that are up for adoption. At Boris & Horton, the dogs — except for the owners’ (Boris & Horton) — are brought in by guests.
As in a cat café, the dogs are kept in a separate room from where the food is made and served, to meet health code requirements. Guests buy their coffee, beer, wine and snacks in the food-prep space. They can then walk through a vestibule connection to the dog side or stay in the café for a dog-less experience.
Coppy Holzman, who founded Boris & Horton with his daughter, Logan Mikhly, told RetailWire the idea addresses the frustrations the two faced visiting coffee shops and needing one of them to stand outside while the other went inside to order.
“We wanted to solve this problem and create the perfect coffee shop — great coffee, wonderful food and the best wine and beer in the evenings, all with dogs,” said Mr. Holzman, who was the founder of the online celebrity-based charity auction house, Charitybuzz, and a co-founder of Webvan. “We are very comfortable and neighborhood friendly, whether you have a dog or not.”
The space will regularly hold adoption events, has a dog-friendly photo booth, and sells a wide range of Boris & Horton-themed merchandise, from hats, mugs and bags to dog snacks. Customers can also order from an online store.
The upscale vegetarian menu focuses on local suppliers, including City of Saints coffee, Murray’s Cheese and Balthazar Bakery, while also offering local craft beer and wine by the glass.
To keep the peace, Boris & Horton has a number of “house rules.” Dogs must remain on leash, and aggressive dogs, stray kids and long-lasting chews are banned. Cement floors help with clean-ups, and air purifiers with smells. Staff has been trained to read dog behavior to anticipate any issues.
Boris & Horton is actively looking at other corner locations throughout New York City, with plans to reach Los Angeles next.
- Boris & Horton
- Dogs, too, can chow down in this café – The Villager
- Dog-Friendly Cafe Opens In The East Village – Patch.com
- Paw Up to the Bar at New York City’s First Dog Café – People
- Pop-up combines cats and coffee – RetailWire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What do you think of the appeal and feasibility of the Boris & Horton dog café concept? Do dog cafés appear to have as much expansion potential as cat cafés?