Dogs—unless they're of the foaming-from-the-mouth variety—always make a place feel more welcoming. Bars, for the most part, attempt to be welcoming places. You'd think the two would be a perfect match, but it's actually quite tricky to find pubs that allow pups inside. Some bar owners blame city ordinances; some say there's enough slobber already, courtesy of the drunken bargoer who never leaves. But a few spots open their doors eagerly for man's best friend. All these bars suggest using good judgment with your pet; if the place is packed, it's probably best to not bring Fido along. Think about it: If you feel crushed on a big night out, imagine that same feeling while trying to avoid being stepped on.
Cody's Public House
Cody's blends into the neighborhood with its unassuming facade that makes it look like a dwelling rather than a pub. That home-y vibe extends to the inside as well, so bring dogs in only as you would to a friend's place. They should be well-behaved, on a leash and not prone to barking. The bar's traffic can vary, with some days being devoid of patrons, both two- and four-legged; on other days, it can look like a kennel. It doesn't dish out any canine treats, but you might be able to sneak your pup one of the complimentary pretzels on offer at the bar, while you enjoy blue-collar beers like Pabst or Old Style for the easy-to-drink price of $2.75.
The orange, white and green flag hanging in front of Dugan's sticks out sharply against the ubiquitous blue-and-white accents in Greek Town. It's a place of contrasts—a bar with quirky relics, like old bicycles, and a soundtrack of '80s rock and dance music. One evening, it may be chest-to-back packed 'til 4 a.m., and on another, you might yourself staring at a shih tzu with a runny nose perched on the bar stool next to you. To say dogs are welcome would be an understatement. The pets get treats and can drink from a dogs-only water fountain out front when it's summertime. To top that, Dugan's has been known to host shindigs for dogs. Why should people be the only ones who get to enjoy the private party room?
Jake's has four simple rules for bringing in your dog: "No peeing, no pooing, no barking, no biting." Well-behaved dogs can and do roam the place, and the bar has treats and water on hand for its canine customers. Jake's does well for people too, offering more than 40 bottled beers, ranging from esoteric brews like Delirium Tremens ($7.50) to standbys like Old Style. Bartenders, patrons and animals alike are all friendly here, making this a great spot to hang out, chat and even share some stories about your mutt. Hard to beat relaxing with a pint while meeting Freeway, an amiable black lab whose moniker comes from where the shelter found him.
This modern beer-and-wine bar exudes polish, and it doesn't seem like dogs would be welcome in such pristine surroundings. But they are, and they can amble about leash-less if they're well behaved. The bartenders might also put out a water dish, and the bar has been known to offer treats, though that latter bonus is hit-and-miss. Maeve is a favorite of Washington Redskins fans, and it can get packed around game time, but most nights the crowd trends to be mellower and older, making it a relaxing atmosphere for man and beast alike. Maeve means "she who intoxicates" in Gaelic, and it can be a bit expensive to get inebriated here. Fortunately, it offers specials like $3 drafts on Sundays and Mondays and half-price wine bottles on Sundays and Wednesdays.
Ten Cat Tavern
Mix two parts bar, one part pool hall and one part living room, then add a dash of art gallery, and you'll come up with the dog-friendly Ten Cat Tavern. This motley collection of atmospheres gives you plenty of places to pass your time here, though most regulars cluster around the pool tables. The cushioned chairs in the back room are ideal for lounging humans, while any available floor space provides the perfect spot for Spot to kick back, so be ready to high-step over pups if needed. The bar is in the front, just past the paintings that are on display when you first walk in. You'll find the dogs' water dish nearby, as well as plenty of drinks for yourself, with several bottled microbrews in the $4 to $5 range. In summer months, dogs have free reign on the back patio, but inside, make sure they're on a leash.