Thursday night I saddled up the pony and road on over to Rojo. It’s my first venture to the wide world of restaurants with Whiskey so I had no idea what to expect.
(Thank you to the fabulous Jen West from thejenwestquest.com for taking this picture!)
I’m going to be honest with you- I had horrific images in my mind. Of things that my dog wouldn’t (probably wouldn’t) even ever do. I imagined him taking a big poop under the table. Or peeing on someones leg. Peeing on my leg. Okay, just peeing anywhere. What if he barked at someone. What if he growled. What if he pooped under the table!! (This one was a reoccurring fear and bears mentioning twice). What if he’s so crazy I can’t eat. What if he knocks the table over. Omg what if I can’t eat! I’ll die then, you know I’ll die! Of embarrassment or hunger, or ::gasp:: both.
Needless to say none of this happened. But, for those of you who are about to venture out into the wide world of “Oh! Your restaurant will let me eat with my puppy!?” here are some solid tips you should be aware of:
- Bring a water bowl. Even if it’s not hot, and even if you think they might have water bowls. Your dog will be smelling a lot of fantastic stuff and will probably drool all the water he has in him out.
- Bring 2 types of leashes if you’re not sure about the set up. I was able to use the retractable leash locked at a safe distance and tuck the handheld part between my knees. But if your dog is
a bettera dog that doesn’t pull much then you can loop a handheld (nonretractable) leash around a pole, table or chair leg, depending on the restaurant set up. I liked the retractable because I could constantly alter the range he could go depending on who wanted to pet him or who was walking by.
- Bring poop bags. Even if he’s done his business earlier that day $5 says he pees and poops in the grass somewhere because he’ll smell so many dogs around there.
- Walking or exercising your dog before hand will help reduce anxiety and high energy.
So here’s the lowdown on Rojo’s dog friendly set up.
- You are confined to the patio if you bring a dog. There’s probably 20 or so tables (that’s an estimate! don’t kill me if I’m wrong in either direction!)
- The middle section is covered completely with a ceiling so if it’s sprinkling and you get one of those tables under there you should be fine.
- The tables not under this sometimes have umbrellas. Something to consider if it’s raining!
- A railing separates you from the sidewalk in front and on one side
- One side is open.
- The tables are mostly small to regular size accommodating anywhere from 2 to 5 comfortably.
- When we went they had plastic containers of water along the rails, sidewalk side. But we didn’t sit by them so I’m glad I had a bowl.
- Be prepared to have a LOT of dogs walk by on the street. Whiskey and Lucy constantly were running out from under the table to see the dogs walking by. This was certainly a problem if someone wanted by right then. They didn’t clothesline anyone thank dog.
- The night we went (a Thursday at 6:30) it was PACKED and we had to wait a bit for a table. It only had one chair. We waited a while longer and got a different table. There were lots of people who did not seem dog friendly. But luckily for us we sat next to two tables that were dog friendly (yay!) and Whiskey even made friends with a big 4 month old dane mix that is going to be one big pretty boy when he grows up 🙂
- During July on Tuesday nights they donate a portion of the proceeds to the upcoming event Picasso Pets.
- If you are alone and with a dog, this is not the place for you. You must go inside to place your order and your dog isn’t allowed. So bring a friend for sure- unless you trust your dog to be tied up alone while you get the menu and order, or unless you trust a stranger to hold your dog. Oh, and can find one willing to do so.
- Rojo is right off of Highland Ave and right near all those fabulous parks on Highland. Take your pooch across the road in any direction and hit lots of great parks to smell and check the peemail!
- Tuesday-Sunday, food is served 11am-10pm
- Brunch on Sundays 11-3
- Happy hour Tues-Fri 4-6
- While food stops at 10pm the bar is “open late.” We’ll see what this actually translates to when I get there this Tuesday night 🙂
- We had mozzarella sticks (standard) and a summer burrito (good) and a cilantro chicken pasta (yummy!). The salad was also good and passed muster.
MUST KNOW TIPS!
- Sigh. Don’t sit there like us for AN HOUR waiting on a waiter to come to you. Go inside the door to your left and pick up menus right inside the door. Then decide what you want and order at the register up front. They give you a number and bring your food out to you. We had no idea haha! Good thing we were having fun and chatting.
Venue Rating: 7 entertained dog tail wags out of 10. It would have been higher I think if the tables weren’t so close, ensuring moments of our dogs tails (we have big dogs Brooke and I) hitting people, their plates, and this also means their food as we attempted the tight weave to the lone open table. I picked up on some “ugh dogs!” type comments and vibes. But if this kind of stuff doesn’t bother you then you’ll probably rate it higher. We plan to go back on a night that is posted as “Paws on the Patio” which should be a completely dog friendly affair!
Paws on the Patio FB page