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Luxury Club for Dogs Opens in the Financial District

By Julie Shapiro | October 15, 2010 6:50am

By Julie Shapiro

DNAinfo Reporter/Producer

FINANCIAL DISTRICT — An exclusive canine destination called Fetch Club opened this week in the Financial District, offering everything a dog could possibly need — and plenty more besides.

Stressed dogs may opt for a pedicure, a Reiki massage or an aromatherapy session. Dogs with some energy to burn can trot on one of the doggy-sized treadmills or work with a personal trainer.

And at night, the pooches can lounge on artificial turf beneath a disco ball while sipping Bark Vineyards' non-alcoholic Sauvignon Bark or Pinot Leasheo.

"Dogs in the city are a new breed," said Peter Balestrieri, Fetch Club's founder, as he gave DNAinfo a tour on Thursday. "They've become like humans. They need exercise like humans. They need good food like humans. They get bored."

It would be hard to get bored in Fetch Club's 13,000-square-foot complex at 85 South St. The centerpiece is a 3,000-square-foot indoor lawn, with hills, toys and a shallow pool.

The club also includes a spa, a workout room, a massage room with bamboo flooring and photo studio for pet shoots (a stylist is on hand to help dogs look their best).

A boutique in the club's entrance offers frilly outfits, leashes decorated with skulls and crossbones, blueberry-scented dog cologne and peanut butter-flavored Poochi Sushi.

Annual membership costs $300 and qualifies dogs for discounts and special events. A night in the hotel costs $65 for members and dogs in need of a spruce-up can spring for a $65 cut-and-color or a $10 Dead Sea mud mask.

All dogs must sit for temperament interviews before they can join the club, but Balestrieri said everyone has passed so far.

On Thursday afternoon, one day after Fetch Club opened, the sprawling space was quiet. A few dogs napped in the lounge area while four dogs roamed the indoor lawn, chasing thrown toys.

Balestrieri, a longtime Seaport resident who launched Fetch Club with his girlfriend, is planning a grand opening celebration in November. In the meantime, he is putting in finishing touches while luring dogs in off the street with treats.

"It's been a long haul," Balestrieri said in a lull between visits from potential clients. "We're here, we're ready and we're excited."