With all the controversy surrounding the demise of the foie gras ban, another controversial subject seems to have slipped under the radar. Dogs, described to me by one high-ranking Rec and Park gardener as “the true third rail of San Francisco politics, more than the homeless” are, as of Jan. 1, permitted to enter the outdoor spaces of California restaurants.
[jump] Strictly speaking, the new law protects restaurants from lawsuits from anti-dog patrons. It’s a state law, and has no bearing on that other great canine contretemps, the issue of off-leash dogs on Crissy Field and other parts of Golden Gate National Recreation Area. But that’s still cause for celebration, because you can now take your dog to (outdoor) brunch and chat about Nietzsche or Ingmar Bergman or can-you-believe-what-she-was-wearing.
To that end, Milk-Bone sponsored a little biscuit brunch yesterday morning at The Plant Café, with free treats, free behind-the-ear scratches and adoptable senior dogs from Muttville. (Mayor Ed Lee, sadly, was a no-show.) Jesse Vasquez, Milk-Bone’s Manager of Communications, has put together a list of “Leader of the Pack” restaurants that permit dogs. (Feel free to add to it, dining horde.) Better still, “We’ll be identifying 20 to 40 restaurants around San Francisco where we’ll be doing drops of biscuits and water bowls,” Vasquez said.
There is one sticky point, though: What about restaurants whose patios can only be accessed by a stroll through the dining room (for example, the Inner Sunset Nopalito, which allows dogs only in front)? That’s still technically a no-no, although the restaurant has the final say. In fact, you should probably check with the restaurant anyway, because furry companion critters are still subject to their approval and Mr. Woofers does not like to be turned away at the door.