Front Street Pub & Eatery, 208 E, River Drive, and Front Street Brewery & Taproom, 421 W. River Drive, both in downtown Davenport, now welcome well-behaved dogs.
Co-owner Tim Baldwin said in a news release the decision to allow restaurant patrons to bring their dogs is a response to customer request.
“Many of our patrons live and work downtown and don’t want to leave their ‘best friends’ locked-up at home alone in order to go out for a bite of food and a bit of fun,” Baldwin said. “Between downtown flooding and COVID-19 restrictions, the past two years have been challenging,” he added.
“By allowing pet dogs to join their owners in our outdoor serving areas, we are removing one more barrier that may keep some of our guests from coming out to enjoy the good food, fresh air and relaxed atmosphere of our patios.”
With encouragement from local restauranteurs and American Kennel Club members, Scott County Supervisor Ken Croken requested the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals ease restrictions regarding pets in outdoor dining spaces two years ago.
“In the past, state regulations allowed service dogs to go anywhere in a restaurant – outside or inside — but didn’t allow pet dogs anywhere,” Croken explained. “It didn’t make sense. Thankfully, DIA officials have recognized evolving urban lifestyle trends and created some common-sense guidelines that will allow leashed pets and their owners to enjoy more time together.”
Among the new guidelines is the requirement that pet dogs must have direct access to the outdoor space without going inside a restaurant as well as rules regarding safe food handling and sanitation.
The Front Street organization will partner with the Scott County Humane Society and donate $1 for every pint of beer sold throughout the month of May to help in the care of shelter animals at the Humane Society’s shelter at 2801 West Central Par, Davenport. Croken has agreed to match those funds up to $500.
Speaking on behalf of the Scott County Humane Society, Erika Gunn thanked both Baldwin and Croken for their support. “Donations are the lifeblood of our organization and we appreciate the financial support of Front Street and Supervisor Croken,” she said. “But, even more importantly, we believe the loosening of restrictions on pets in public spaces will help encourage potential adopters to come to the Humane Society and consider giving a shelter animal a ‘forever’ home.”