WICKER PARK — Thanks to 2012 reforms, the city nixed required dog-friendly licenses for restaurants, paving the way for more businesses to welcome pups on patios without paying extra fees.
With so many options, though, how do dog owners decide where to take their four-legged companions?
We asked around in person and on DNAinfo's Wicker Park Facebook page for favorite spots in West Town, Wicker Park, Bucktown and Ukrainian Village.
Following are nine dog-friendly patios. Before you check out the list, don't forget: nice dogs, only.
"We say it's a dog-friendly patio for friendly dogs," said Scott Floersheimer, owner of Bucktown's Jack & Gingers, which boasts an 80-seat patio along Armitage Avenue.
Smoke Daddy BBQ, 1804 W. Division St. Doting dog owners can order their furry friend a smoked pig ear ($3) or share a smoked slice brisket sandwich without sauce ($9.95) at the 90-seat patio. Weather permitting, patio hours are 10 a.m. - midnight Mon.- Fri.; 9 a.m. to midnight weekends.
Mahoney's Pub & Grille, 551 N. Ogden Ave. This Irish sports bar is so welcoming to dogs, it has hosted weekly "pup crawls" with their neighbors at Matchbox. Staffers offer water bowls and treats to pups, too. Patio hours are 5 to 11 p.m. weekdays; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. weekends.
Taus Authentic, 1846 W. Division St. Chef Michael Taus said a recent weekend was packed with people and pups, the latter woofing down maple glazed bacon as their owners ate and drank on the 100-seat patio. Taus Authentic brings out water bowls, too. Patio hours are 5 to 11 p.m. Tues.-Thurs; 4 p.m. to midnight Fri.-Sat; 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday.
Jack & Gingers, 2048 W. Armitage Ave. At this Bucktown bar, which has hosted fundraisers for PAWS, there is lots of space between tables so leashes aren't getting tangled. The staff will bring occasional treats out for dogs and some locals consider Jack & Ginger's a great pit stop on the way to or from nearby Churchill and Holstein Parks. Patio hours are 4 p.m. to midnight daily.
Lockdown Bar & Grill, 1024 N. Western Ave. If your pup can handle heavy metal music, pop over to the southwest corner of Western and Cortez. This prison-themed joint allows dogs on its side patio along Cortez Street and in an enclosed 70-seat back patio which can be accessed from the sidewalk. Staffers say sides of bacon and meat from mini sliders are big hits. Patio hours are 11 a.m. to midnight.
Janik's Cafe, 2011 W. Division St. This family-run Wicker Park staple recently launched a new dinner service, offering fajitas and a Mexican Cheeseburger, among other dishes. One dog owner said she likes bringing her pup to Janik's for early morning breakfast. "They always bring a fresh water bowl for our fur baby too!" she said. Patio hours are 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mon.-Wed; 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Thurs.-Sat.
Kimberly Konczak and her furry friend at Janik's [Provided].
Big Star, 1531 N. Damen Ave. Two summers ago, this taqueria and whiskey bar doubled the size of its patio near their alcohol-free takeout window. Dogs are welcome in that area, plus the restaurant's main 80-seat patio, where water bowls and tail wagging are frequent sights. Patio hours are 11 a.m. to midnight.
Cortland's Garage, 1658 W. Cortland St. Dogs on this 18-seat sidewalk patio around the corner from the Metra get plenty of attention from restaurant staffers. Almost all of the staff are dog owners, according to a manager, who said pets get water and, if they are familiar faces, sometimes chicken from the kitchen. Patio hours are 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. weekdays; 11 a.m. to midnight weekends.
Fatso's Last Stand, 2258 W. Chicago Ave. This hot dog stand's patio is not enclosed, but it's doubtful any dog would try to pull too far from a leash given the smells of charred meats permeating the air at the northeast corner of Chicago and Oakley avenues. Fatso's side patio offers picnic tables and a serene view of a Ukrainian center. Patio hours are 10:30 a.m. to midnight daily, 10 p.m. on Sunday.
A dog enjoys the patio at Fatso's Last Stand. [DNAinfo/Alisa Hauser]
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