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Freestyle Patio Offers Doggie Upgrades to Patrons Dining with Pets

 For $10, Freestyle Food + Drink will serve diners' pooches a dog treat and water, and provide a plush bed.
For $10, Freestyle Food + Drink will serve diners' pooches a dog treat and water, and provide a plush bed.
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Courtesy Freestyle Food + Drink

RIVER NORTH — A River North restaurant won't just let diners' dogs join their owners on its patio — it will seat and serve them, too.

Freestyle Food and Drink, the restaurant inside the Dana Hotel at 660 N. State St. is offering a promotional "Pooches on the Patio" VIP package through Labor Day.

For $10, four-legged guests will be seated in pet beds and served water and homemade, gourmet dog treats from nearby boutique Tails in the City

Lizzie Schiffman discusses the River North's plan to offer a comfortable bed and a nice meal ... for your dog!

River North certainly has the four-legged traffic for it — residents' proclivity for pups has caused the neighborhood some problems in recent years.

Last summer, one Movies in the Park screening site had to scale back its programming because dog waste had overtaken Fulton River Park.

Ald. Brendan Reilly (42nd), whose Yorkshire terrier Buster has his own page on the 42nd Ward website, said parts of his ward are "a minefield" at a community meeting last fall. The alderman said he would work to install more free waste bag dispensers around parks in his neighborhoods.

Expanding amenities and new dog-friendly residential buildings have been working to accommodate the growing presence of pooches in River North and Downtown.

Just last week, construction began on expanding the dog-friendly area at A. Montgomery Ward Park by adding new trees and more paw-friendly surfaces.

During the eight years Fifield Companies has spent building its five-tower, 2,145-unit luxury apartment complex in the Fulton River District, dog friendliness was an increasingly important incentive, according to Steve Fifield, who co-owns Fifield Companies with his wife, Randy.

In developing the complex's final building — K2 Tower, completed in early 2013 — Randy Fifield said amenities like a private dog park with rolling hills were considered a near-necessity.

"Our building also has doggie day care, and we're offering dog walkers an app, so [tenants] know when Fifi goes out, and they can view Fifi on the play date, or your dog walker can bring Fifi right to work," Randy Fifield said.

Freestyle's summer-long special is far from the only Downtown doggie indulgence available to pet lovers.

Dogs are welcomed at many Downtown hotels, including the Talbott Hotel, Burnham Hotel and Hotel Monaco.

At 171 W. Randolph St., Hotel Allegro's pet-friendly package offers add-ons including one 20-minute walk with a staff member and in-room pet massage services.

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