A ‘dog-friendly’ cafe opens in the East Village this month

At this coffee shop, you don’t have to choose a cup over your pup.

A “dog-friendly” cafe where customers are welcome to bring their pooches inside is set to open in the East Village this month.

To be clear, Boris & Horton isn’t positioning itself as the canine-equivalent of a cat café; no dogs will live at the storefront at 195 Avenue A, the coffee joint’s website explains.

But the combination eatery and retail shop will invite dog owners and enthusiasts to sip their City of Saints java, order off an all-vegetarian menu with gluten-free and vegan options, snack on dog-shaped sugar cookies and shop for puppy and human swag (like pet bandannas, leashes and baseballs caps) all in the company of man’s best friend. Boris & Horton will also serve humans craft beer and wine in the evenings, and host adoption events for home-seeking hounds on weekends.

“Another fun bonus is our dog photo booth, which will be stocked with costumes so guests can get some great shots alongside their dogs,” co-founder Logan Mikhly, 28, said.

Mikhly and her dad, Coppy Holzman, named their business after their respective dogs, one a pit bull mix (Boris), the other a terrier mutt (Horton). The father-and-daughter team wanted to open an indoor eatery where they could hang out with their pets without incurring health code fines from the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, DNAinfo reported last year. (In March, dog lovers rejoiced when the Health Department relaxed its rules slightly, permitting restaurants to allow pups in outdoor dining areas under very specific conditions.)

Boris & Horton’s website describes the business as the city’s “first Department of Health approved dog-friendly cafe.” Technically, Mikhly explained, the agency sees Boris & Horton as two separate enterprises: a counter-service coffee shop adjacent to a pet retail store, each with its own entrance. Customers will be able to walk between the door through a set of double doors in a glass wall. We give the co-owners props for puzzling out all the logistics, but here’s the rundown: solo visitors with dogs will place and pick up their orders from the cafe’s outdoor walk-up window before sitting down at a table on the retail side; groups can settle down at one of those tables first and then dispatch a representative to the indoor coffee shop counter, where they’ll have to claim the order when it’s ready; fresh treats from the dog biscuit maker maison de pawZ will be available for purchase on the retail side, in a “doggie bakery case.”

The space for the dog lovers’ Central Perk is still under construction, Mikhly said, but while you’re wagging your tail in anticipation, we recommend reviewing the “house rules”: They include guidelines like “No off-leash play,” “Mind the hormones” and “No stray kids.”


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