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Groundbreaking planned in May on 1st Colorado restaurant to allow dogs

       Pub Dog, a unique concept in the Westside's Midland area that will allow people to enjoy cuisine with their canines, is on the road to construction.

A rendering provided by the owners of the planned Pub Dog brewpub shows how it will look after construction, as seen from its parking lot. Plans show that the building will be sideways to Bott Avenue (out of view at right, alongside the property's trees, which currently line the street).
Westside Pioneer photo

       With City Council approval in December, Scott Downs, the project developer, released a schedule that anticipates a groundbreaking in early May 2015 and, after construction is complete, a “soft opening” in March 2016.
       “We started this the third week of November last year [2013],” he said in an e-mail. “Considering we had to change a state health code, rezone and replat the land and finance and build, a little over two years is not too bad to get all this done.”
       Pub Dog will be developed on a vacant 18,000-square-foot lot with the current addresses of both 2207 and 2213 Bott Avenue. Designed as a brewpub, it will be the first restaurant in Colorado to allow people to dine out with their dogs, Downs has said. He planned the project with his daughter Tara, who has managed a restaurant downtown for several years. She is the Pub Dog owner.
       The plan shows a 2,340-square-foot building and parking lot. A recently released rendering depicts it in a barn style.
       Based on the city-approved concept plan, as customers enter Pub Dog, there will be a non-canine side to the right and a canine side to the left. The latter will allow access not only to indoor seating but to an enclosed outdoor patio, a shuffleboard court and an enclosed, 2,200-square-foot grass area where people can run their dogs.
       As Downs has explained, he had to convince the Colorado Health Department to change its requirements. The OK was contingent on a restaurant like Pub Dog being self-serve to prevent contact between restaurant servers and dog-accompanied customers.
       Tara is credited with the idea, based on a perception that in present society more people like to spend more of their everyday lives with their dogs. Downs has explained that the Midland location was chosen because it's near major open-space areas and appears to be under-served in terms of eateries.
       Despite the novelty of their plan, the Downses faced neither bark nor bite on the road to city approval, which included the requirement to change the property's zone to commercial (from residential on the lot's west side and manufacturing on its east side).
       Part of the city scrutiny focused on proof of neighborhood support, which the owners provided. Indeed, no one spoke against the proposal at Planning Commission in October, and the body OK'd the change without an opposing vote.
       City Council finalized the Pub Dog plan by passing it without comment on two “readings” on its consent calendar at successive meetings Nov. 25 and Dec. 9.
       The next step is preparing a development plan - detailing how the project will be built. An OK from City Land Use Review is required for that, and a final construction go-ahead will eventually be needed from the Regional Building Department.

Westside Pioneer article