Pub takes the lead to wel­come dogs with spe­cial menu and ca­nine beer

The Jewish Chronicle - - FEATURES -

CUS­TOMERS ARE lap­ping up the ser­vice at The King Stag in Bushey. Ever since open­ing five years ago, the pub has served ev­ery ca­nine vis­i­tor a bowl of wa­ter and bis­cuits — on a plate, with a servi­ette. “The own­ers loved that we cared as much about their dog as we did about them,” says David War­ren, King Stag’s owner. “So we thought how we could make the ex­pe­ri­ence for dogs and their own­ers even bet­ter. We started a doggy menu, which in­cludes a home-made burger or sausages and they can have a dog beer from Snuf­fles.”

Dogs were be­com­ing as much reg­u­lars in the pub as their own­ers and some dogs even pulled their own­ers to­wards the pub if they were walk­ing past, as they knew they would get a dog bis­cuit. “One of our neighbours had a beau­ti­ful Labrador puppy called Maple,” says War­ren. “Ev­ery time she es­caped, her owner knew ex­actly where to find her, she was in the pub. “

King Stag holds a dog walk on the last Sunday of ev­ery month, at 10am. Dogs and own­ers meet at the pub for tea and cof­fee and then go for an hour-and-40-minute walk across the lo­cal Wood­land Trust site, fin­ish­ing back at the pub. This is one of War­ren’s favourite parts of own­ing the pub — “a real com­mu­nity walk that brings all ages to­gether”. Many stay for a drink or Sunday lunch at the end of the walk.

War­ren and his wife en­joyed hav­ing dogs in the pub so much that in July 2016 they be­came the proud own­ers of Char­lie, a bor­der col­lie res­cue dog from Heath­lands an­i­mal sanc­tu­ary in Hert­ford­shire.

In 2017 they held their first char­ity dog show. “We had so many dogs en­ter we couldn’t fit them all in the pa­rade ring (some­thing we have taken into ac­count for this year’s dog show on Au­gust 26). Hav­ing dogs in the pub has re­ally bought peo­ple to­gether and got them chat­ting, whether they are dog own­ers or just like a scruf­fle with some­one’s else’s beau­ti­ful dog.”

Many of the staff are also dog own­ers and in 2016 King Stag won a prize as “most dog-friendly pub in the East Of Eng­land” (it was run­ner-up in 2017).

If bring­ing four-legged friends, book a ta­ble in the dog-friendly area, or just turn up to be seated in the newly re­fur­bished gar­den, which has waiter ser­vice on most nights.

Dogs would pull their own­ers into the pub for a bis­cuit’

Bark snacks at The King Stag

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