NOT A RUFF-RUFF DAY

Checking out some dog-friendly patios in Houston

Photo by Clare O'Brien

I could talk about my dog, Marvin (who I consider my son), all day long. Literally. I love being a (hypothetical) mom, but, I feel guilty leaving him home alone all day. So, I decided to find the best places in Houston to go to that he can tag along to with me.

We started the day getting some brunch at Barnaby's in River Oak. Overall, the food was fantastic, although, we had some small issues. I think there was a total of six spots in their parking lot, after all, it is Houston. The patio was pretty small for being such a "dog-friendly" restaurant, but since it was so shady it made up for it. Since the food was so good and there are multiple locations, I would definitely come back to Barnaby's and bring Marvin.

After hanging out at the TERRIBLY small, Discovery Dog Park, we had some lunch at Good Dog in the Heights. I can't say enough about how amazing this place is! The people were so nice and seemed genuinely happy to be serving us. When we walked in, they immediately gave Marvin his own personal water bowl, which is super rare for Houston. They had games available like Corn Hole and Jenga, on their shady patio (which has a nice sized fan too). It's a very cute concept to eat hot dogs on picnic tables like you're at a B-B-Q, but with topping that you wouldn't normally expect.

For dinner, we went to Onion Creek, just down the street from Good Dog, and I loved their menu! They had a good range of appetizers and everything came out in a timely manner. They had a great big patio and tons of shade and fans! With Marvin being a black lab, I'm always concerned about the amount of shade for him. We went there to watch the Astros game and I don't think there was a bad view for anyone. They also had very clean bathrooms which is hard to find when you're doing casual dining.

We rapped things up at Nett Bar in Washington Ave area. It had decent shading, but the environment was so fun I didn't mind the fact that I was sweating buckets. They had a ping pong table, Corn Hole, Connect 4, and a bunch of other games. Parking was easy which is always a plus.

Overall, Marvin and I had a great day exploring Houston, eating a bunch of food (because of course I shared with him), meeting new people and going to new places. It's hard to find dog-friendly places that are truly dog-friendly, so, I am glad I found: Barnaby's, Good Dog, Onion Creek, and Nett Bar, for the next time I want to spend a day with my dog... which will probably be tomorrow.

This is Ching's second bar in Houston. Photo by Eric Sandler

This article originally appeared on CultureMap.

He'll forever be known as the Houston Dynamos first true franchise player, the name that put professional soccer back on the map in Houston. But with his latest move, former Major League Soccer icon Brian Ching may now be known as a bonafide bar star.

Ching, who also owns Pitch 25 Beer Park, has announced plans for East End Backyard, his second bar in Houston's East Downtown neighborhood. The EaDo spot is projected to open this fall at 1105 Sampson St., and promises to be a "casual, dog-friendly neighborhood bar and backyard for the flourishing EaDo area," according to a release. Ching launched Pitch 25 with the development firm the Kirby Group; with East End, he'll venture out on his own.

Ching's latest bar will boast a 20,000-square-foot patio, community garden, and will offer up lawn games, live local music, events, and food trucks. The concept for the new indoor/outdoor community hub was revealed via a campaign on the Houston-based crowdfunding site, NextSeed.

East End Backyard will serve both local and domestic beers from its full bar, as well as house specialty cocktails made with produce grown in its own community garden, according to the release. Ching says in a statement that he plans to grow the space beyond the initial footprint with additional food and beverage tenants — which could make for a big EaDo draw.

Continue reading on CultureMap to learn about Brian Ching's thoughts on the EaDo neighborhood and more.

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