15 dog-friendly places you can bring your pup in Charlotte


As the owner of a miniature polar bear (read: Great Pyrenees), I frequently find myself scouring business websites to determine whether my giant, fluffy pup will be welcome on the premises.

If you’re a dog owner in Charlotte, you’re probably aware that the Mecklenburg County Health Department says a state code rule forbids dogs from being in brewery taprooms. After word of this new rule got around town, it became harder than ever to determine where dogs were and weren’t allowed.

But take heart: Charlotte is a dog-friendly city, and there are dozens of restaurants, bottle shops, cafes, and more that are happy to welcome your pup. Here are some of our favorites.

Spots Where Your Dog Can Be Indoors

(1) The Dog Bar

3307 N. Davidson St.

Charlotte’s original off-leash bar for dogs and their owners, The Dog Bar is basically a dog park that serves alcohol. There’s a partially covered AstroTurf play area (sanitized daily), and they put pools out in the summertime to keep your pet cool. There are obstacle courses and dog beds as well, but you’ll find that some dogs prefer to sit up on top of the bar. The Dog Bar hosts trivia at 8:30 p.m. Tuesdays, and if your team wins a round of trivia, you get a free round of drinks. facebook.com/DogBarCharlotte

(2) Lucky Dog Bark & Brew

2220 Thrift Road, Charlotte; 19607 Statesville Road, Cornelius


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Lucky Dog Bark & Brew is an indoor/outdoor sports bar and dog park. The outdoor area is paved, and dogs can roam freely off leash and play with other pups while their owners hang out at the bar. They also offer a sports-themed boutique, a dog bathing salon, doggie day care services, and overnight boarding. luckydogbarkandbrew.com

(3) Canine Café

125 Remount Road, Unit A

In addition to offering an on-site bakery and selling all the all-natural treats and food your pup could desire, Canine Café also offers spa products and DIY dog baths. Bring your pooch for a bath and to play in the store with the rest of the dogs. Then grab a special snack for them on the way out. They’ll love you for it. caninecafe.net

(4) Sleepy Poet Antique Mall

4450 South Blvd.

Yes, you read that right: While you’re scouring Sleepy Poet’s 55,000-square-foot space for home décor and vintage clothing, your pup can tag along. There is also a soda and snack corner (and free popcorn), so you can make a day out of antiquing with your furry friend. sleepypoetstuff.com

(5) Paper Skyscraper

330 East Blvd.

Upon entering Paper Skyscraper in Dilworth, you may be greeted by a pup named Patsy—so of course your dog is also welcome. The gift-shop-meets-bookstore-meets-stationery mecca has lots to explore. paperskyscraper.com

[RELATED: Meet the most popular dog and cat ’employees’ at these Charlotte businesses]

(6) Blackhawk Hardware

4225 Park Road

Open for business since 1977, Blackhawk Hardware is so much more than a place to buy tools and housewares. This family owned and operated store at Park Road Shopping Center offers coffee (and free popcorn) for you to enjoy while you and your dog browse through their remodeling, gardening, DIY projects and gift sections. blackhawkhardware.com

(7) Star Dog Charlotte

700 NC Music Factory Blvd.


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Star Dog is one of the city’s best-kept secrets. Most people think that it’s just a dog training and grooming facility, but it’s also a public dog park. The 10,000-square-foot indoor training area and play arena has a rubber floor, and there’s also a 16,000-square-foot outdoor dog park with multiple training fields. Want to drop your dog off? Sign up for a full day or half day at their dog day camp. Bonus: Star Dog Charlotte will soon have an outdoor patio bar, serving a variety of local beers and more. stardogcharlotte.com

(8) Park Road Books

4139 Park Rd.

Not only has Park Road Books been known as Charlotte’s favorite bookstore since 1977 and Charlotte’s only independent bookstore that carries strictly new books — but it is also somewhere you can bring your four-legged friend. You’ll both be greeted by the store dog, Yola, upon entry. Plus, you can check out their community events including author events, local book clubs and more. parkroadbooks.com

(9) Johnny Fly Co. NoDa

519 E. 36th St.

Right next door to the Neighborhood Theatre, you’ll find Johnny Fly Co.‘s NoDa storefront. While you shop eco-friendly wooden sunglasses and chemical-free leather bags, your pup can get friendly with the shop dog, Sir Baxter Flyjohnnyflyco.com

Where Your Dog Can Be Outdoors

(10) U.S. National Whitewater Center

5000 Whitewater Center Parkway


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Your pup can explore the great outdoors right by your side at the U.S. National Whitewater Center. They’ll have to stay on their leash, but they can accompany you as you paddleboard or kayak, hike the trails, and more. usnwc.org

(11) Brewery Patios

While dogs are no longer allowed inside local taprooms, they’re still welcome on the patios and in any outdoor space at most breweries in the area, including: Birdsong Brewing Company (1016 N. Davidson St.), Blue Blaze Brewing (528 S. Turner Ave.), Bold Missy Brewery (610 Anderson St.), Catawba Brewing Co. (212 S. Green St., Morganton), Divine Barrel Brewing (3701 N. Davidson St.) Free Range Brewing (2320 N. Davidson St.) Heist Brewery (2909 N. Davidson St., Suite 200), Hyde Brewing (2911 Griffith St.) Legion Brewing (1906 Commonwealth Ave.) Lenny Boy Brewing Co. (3000 S. Tryon St.), NoDa Brewing Company (2921 N. Tryon St.), The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery (4150 Yancey Road), Pilot Brewing (1331 Central Ave. Suite 104), Resident Culture Brewing (2101 Central Ave.), Salud Cerveceria (3306-C N. Davidson St.), Sugar Creek Brewing Company (215 Southside Drive), Sycamore Brewing (2161 Hawkins St.), Thirsty Nomad Brewing (4402 Stuart Andrew Blvd. A), Three Spirits Brewery (5046 Old Pineville Road), Town Brewing Company (800 Grandin Rd.) Triple C Brewing Company (2900 Griffith St.) The Unknown Brewing Co. (1327 S. Mint St.) and Wooden Robot Brewery (1440 S. Tryon St., #110).

(12) Seoul Food Meat Co.

1400 S. Church St.


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Yes, this is somewhere you can go for delicious Korean-Southern fusion fare, and even if you want to rent out a karaoke room. But Seoul Food Meat Co. also has a massive, fenced-in dog park (including a dog-specific play area, complete with sanitized turf and an obstacle course) as well as an outdoor bar/patio where you can hang with your pup. seoulfoodmeatco.com 

[RELATED: See inside the 4 themed, private karaoke rooms you can rent out at Seoul Food Meat Co.]

(13) Freedom Park

1900 East Blvd.

Arguably the most popular park in Charlotte, Freedom Park offers plenty of trails and walkways where you can run or mosey with your dog to get some energy out. While there’s no enclosed space for your pup to be off leash, there’s plenty of outdoor space that you both can enjoy together, including a seven-acre lake, four soccer fields, four baseball fields, 12 tennis courts, two volleyball courts, a full basketball court, and more. In fact, it’s worth a visit with or without your pooch. mecknc.gov/ParkandRec/Parks

(14) Frazier Dog Park

1201 W. Fourth St. Ext.

This large Mecklenburg County park in the Third Ward area boasts a 1.3-acre dog park that’s totally fenced in, with a separate area for smaller dogs. There’s a shady and cool water station that often has pools in the summertime. At Frazier Dog Park, you’ll also find a long run, where your pup can sprint while chasing other dogs (like mine) or you can play plenty of rounds of fetch with your trusty tennis ball. mecknc.gov/ParkandRec/Parks

(15) Mary Warner Mack Dog Park

148 Adventure Rd. Fort Mill, SC.


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Just 20 minutes from South End, dogs of all sizes can play and socialize in 12 acres of enclosed natural space at the Mary Warner Mack Dog Park at Anne Springs Close Greenway. This dog park includes an area for small dogs, a mile-long off-leash trail leading to lakefront access, a dog washing station, hydration stations, dog waste collection stations and more. You can find the dog park rules here.

Here’s the catch though: this dog park is for members only. You can find the member application here — it’s $120 annually without a Greenway membership, or $10 per month if you’re already a Greenway member.

Photos: Observer files, Work For Your Beer


  1. I love (and have!) dogs but lets keep them out of places where people eat. I don’t want to be sitting somewhere trying to have lunch with a dog under my table, trying to get food off of me, or doing #1/#2 nearby.

    As much as people can’t seem to admit it, dogs aren’t people and they don’t belong EVERYWHERE people go.

  2. Thanks! I have an English Mastiff and an English Bulldog and when the weather cools down, I look forward to trying some of these out. I had no idea there were this many!

  3. Bull Dogs both Park Road and South End typically has awesomeness four legged stars. Rob the owner leads the way and brings his, as you would guess, Bull Dogs to greet and entertain guests. You really need to meet his baby, Roxy, an all white bundle of energy.

  4. Which of these places are also kid friendly? Our puppy is part of our family and we all like to do things together. I know most of the bars and breweries are for those 21 and older but where can my daughter enjoy time with her puppy in public? Thanks for the great list!

  5. Just got our first family pup and cannot wait to take in the town with our new furry friend. Thanks for the great list and thanks everyone for the comments with addl spots.

  6. Blue Blaze Brewery is dog friendly inside. IDK why the rumor got spread that dogs weren’t allowed in taprooms. I was at Blue Blaze while the health inspector was there. There were a few dogs inside, and they still got 100%. I think that was just a preference of an old health inspector and not an actual law. Someone tell Brawleys.

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