New bar makes room for four-legged friends
by Staff Writer
CORNELIUS – It’s a classic suburban dilemma: After a long day of work you’re ready to head out for a couple of beers, but your four-legged best buddy, starved for attention after a day spent pining for your return, is begging for some quality time. Do you reach for the car keys or the dog leash?
Fortunately, there’s now a viable third option: you grab both and take your lucky dog to Lucky Dog Bark and Brew, the only bar in North Mecklenburg – and one of only a few in the nation – that has an open-door policy for man’s best friend.
Newly opened on Statesville Road in Cornelius, the Lucky Dog is the vision of Kelly and Randy Waugh, who themselves used to struggle with the leisure-time versus play-with-the-dog-time quandary.
“We’re huge football fans, especially college football,” Kelly Waugh said. “And on Saturdays, we’d be gone all day watching games, only we’d have to come home in between games and let the dogs out. And the dogs had been alone all day, and they’d be like, ‘You’ve been gone all day: It’s time to play!’”
The solution was obvious: open a dog park with multiple TV sets tuned to all of the day’s sporting events. And serve drinks. And offer grooming and dog washing services so Fido can get all spiffed up while his owner watches the Michigan game.
OK, maybe the solution wasn’t obvious, but it’s an idea that has already garnered rave reviews from Lucky Dog customers.
“I think it’s great. We’ve already been here twice,” customer Katie McSwain said on Sunday – the third day Lucky Dog was open. As McSwain and her husband Mark sat at the bar watching the NASCAR race, Princeton, their Chihuahua, alternated between sitting on their laps and wandering as far as his leash would allow.
The Lucky Dog doesn’t serve food – dogs aren’t allowed indoors in establishments that sell food – but Kelly Waugh says there will be food trucks outside Thursday through Sunday. Customers can also bring their own food or have it delivered. And to obtain a liquor license without selling food, the Lucky Dog had to apply as a private club and charge for membership. The fee is $10 annually, half of which is donated to the Cornelius Animal Shelter.
The Lucky Dog is divided into several areas. In the bar area, dogs must remain on their leashes. Across from the bar is an indoor off-leash area where dogs can roam free and their owners can sit at picnic tables or play corn hole. There are also off-leash outdoor areas at either end of the Lucky Dog, and multiple TVs mounted in all areas. The larger outdoor area also includes a fenced-in play space for small dogs.
The Waughs are also opening a “doggie daycare” that will be kept separate from bar patrons and their dogs.
While the Lucky Dog opened quietly last weekend, the official grand opening starts Friday and runs through the weekend. Kelly Waugh said more than 300 people have already confirmed they will be attending via the Lucky Dog Facebook page, which makes it sound like they can expect a full (dog) house all weekend.
Want to go?
The Lucky Dog is located 19607 Statesville Road, Cornelius. For more information, call 704-896-5550, go to luckydoglkn.com or Facebook.com/luckydoglkn or email firstname.lastname@example.org.