Has your dog been as stir-crazy as you during the pandemic? A new concept in Bethesda aims to be an outlet for all that energy, plus a place to socialize with other canines.
Bark Social has brought the first premium dog bar to the Mid-Atlantic region, a 30,000-square-feet space with a modernized off-leash dog park and indoor and outdoor bar, coffee bar, lounge, treat station with dog ice cream and pupsicles and curated retail area. The year-round venue also has a climate-controlled clubhouse with flat-screens and Wifi so you can watch TV, get some work done, or just relax while your pup frolics. The place will host special events including dog yoga, daily yappy hours, birthday parties, and more. And if your pet needs a little pampering, they offer self-serve dog baths with use of a towel, groomer apron, disposable gloves, shampoo, eye and ear cleaner, comb and brush, and perfume or cologne.
Bark Social is the brainchild of co-founders and entrepreneurs Luke Silverman and Jeff Kurtzman, inspired by a dog-friendly bar Silverman visited when he was in business school working on his MBA. “I thought I could improve the experience, [and] two and a half years later, here we are!”
There are three off-leash areas to let your pooch roam: a coffeehouse called the clubhouse, a 2,500-square-foot covered pavilion and a 25,000-square-foot open-air dog park.
The duo is committed to supporting local businesses and embracing the local scene; half of the 20 beer taps are reserved for Montgomery County Brewers, with 40 percent dedicated to local DMV brewers and 10 percent for rare national brews.
They are also focused on giving back to the community. “We believe our customers like to know where our products come from and what we support,” Silverman says. “Therefore, giving back to local causes that align with our interests is important.” Six dollars from each T-shirt sale on the website goes to six different non-profits: Tails of Valor Paws of Honor, Montgomery County Humane Society, Humane Rescue Alliance, Lucky Dog Animal Rescue, Lost Dog & Cat Rescue Foundation, and MCPAW.
Entry to Bark Social requires an annual or monthly membership, which allows staff to make sure all pups are properly socialized and vaccinated and ensures a fun experience for all. For more information, check out its website.
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