By Julie Shapiro
FINANCIAL DISTRICT — Downtown is going to the dogs.
That’s what restaurateur Harry Poulakakos is betting on with his newest Stone Street establishment, which will cater to both humans and their four-legged friends.
The bar and restaurant, opening in March, will feature an outdoor corral so dogs have a place to frolic while their owners enjoy a menu of boutique hot dogs and craft beers inside.
The place will be called The Growler Bites and Brews — a pun referring both to the dogs and the half-gallon glass jug used to transport beer.
Poulakakos partner Danny McDonald said they got the idea after noticing dozens of people walking their dogs around the Financial District.
"We want to pay tribute to the dogs," McDonald said.
The walls at The Growler will be covered in portraits, just like McSorley’s — but they will be of famous dogs, rather than people, McDonald said.
There will also be plenty to attract those who aren’t partial to pooches. The organic hotdogs will be sourced from local farms — the menu will give exact locations — and breweries are creating special beers for sale at The Growler, McDonald said.
"Boutique hotdogs aren’t available downtown," McDonald said. "There is a market for not mystery meat but a really good traditional hotdog."
The preliminary menu also includes starters like bone marrow with smoked sea salt and black kale Caesar salad, along with Welsh rarebit and beer-brined turkey sandwiches, bratwurst, blood sausage and steamed clams in wheat ale broth.
McDonald and Poulakakos presented their plans to Community Board 1’s Financial District Committee Wednesday night and won the committee’s advisory support of their liquor license.
"The menu looks terrific," said Catherine McVay Hughes, a member of the committee. "It definitely fills a niche [we] don’t have downtown."
The 55 Stone St. space formerly housed a Subway sandwich shop and is close to Ulysses’ and Harry’s, other popular Poulakakos-owned spots. It has a second entrance on S. William Street, where the dog corral will go.
And what will the dogs eat, while their owners are kicking back inside?
"We’re open to suggestions," McDonald said.