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These bars have gone to the dogs

Spring is around the corner, a perfect time of year for an outing with your pooch pal. If you're looking for a spot where your four-legged friends will be welcome, check out this list of Tampa Bay-area restaurants and watering holes.

Mad Dogs and Englishmen

4115 S MacDill Ave., Tampa; (813) 832-3037

Dogs are thought of nearly as highly as human customers at this watering hole. Waiters place bowls of ice water on the floor for Fido and tend to them as intently as they do their human companions.

"We love dogs. They're our regulars, too," said Jason Dame, general manager and executive chef. Leashed dogs are welcome on a large outside patio with 14 tables seating parties of two to eight with a dog. Half of the patio is covered, so it's still an option if it rains. Dog burgers — cooked, chopped fresh beef — are on the menu for dogs, Dame said, and he also is in the process of making dog biscuits.

Clearwater Wine Co.

483 Mandalay Ave., Clearwater Beach; (727) 446-8805

With a dozen tables on the patio (a few are covered) there's plenty of room for Fido to stretch out. It get's better . . . leashes aren't required. Yappy Hour is held from 5-11 p.m. the last Saturday of each month. The next event will be March 28 with drink specials available from 5-7 p.m.

Nature of Art Gallery

1100 Fourth St. N, St. Petersburg; (727) 821-6700

The second Thursday of each month, this art gallery and artsy gift shop holds a special doggie/people mix and mingle to benefit animal rescue programs. Well-behaved leashed dogs and their owners roam inside the gallery and under an outdoor tent. The event includes beer, wine, sodas, food, silent auction and raffles. The next mingle will be from 5-7:30 p.m. April 9.

Foxy's Cafe

160 107th Ave., Treasure Island; (727) 363-3699

Set just yards off the beach, this pet friendly cafe has six tables, seating 24 people and their dogs on a covered patio. Leashed dogs are offered cold drinking water in disposable trays.

Mama's Greek Cuisine

735 Dodecanese Blvd., Tarpon Springs; (727) 944-2888

Mama's is so dog friendly, even the pooches are offered a seat at the table. Dogs and their owners can sit side by side on the large outdoor covered patio with a bar in the middle. The 25 tables offer seating for 80 people. Big dogs must remain on their leash, but well-behaved small dogs may go unleashed. Water bowls are available for doggie drinking and owners are allowed to feed their pets food at their tables.

Java and Cream

225 E Davis Blvd., Tampa; (813) 254-8162

In the heart of Davis Island's Shopping Village, J and C ice cream parlor and coffee house serves "Frosty Paws" and free milk bones to leashed dogs. An awning off the front of the building houses four tables seating 12 people. A cleaning station is available for owners to clean up their dogs and then wash their own hands.

Dunedin Brewery

937 Douglas Ave., Dunedin; (727) 736-0606.

One Sunday each month, this pub turns into a dog spa. "Suds on Sunday" pampers dogs with dog washes, ear washes, nail trims by volunteer dog groomers, live music, a Doggie Depot and more. Leashed dogs are allowed anywhere in the parking lot or on the patio. The next event will be from noon-5 p.m. April 5 and features folk Americana music by Sunset Bridge, Easter bandanas and clothing, homemade baked goods and Easter treats for dogs. Washes are $7-$9 depending on the dog size. Owners receive a Dunedin brew for every dog wash. Proceeds benefit the Dunedin Doggie Rescue, which rescues and finds new homes for area dogs.

Florida Estates Winery

25241 State Road 52, Land O' Lakes; (813) 996-2113.

Leashed dogs are allowed everywhere at the winery daily from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. You can even take them to the inside the bar while you enjoy the winery's offerings but you must clean up after your dog. Dogs are also welcome at the winery's special events and festivals.

Captain Al's Waterfront Grill and Bar

800 Second Ave. NE, St. Petersburg; (727) 898-5800.

Sitting a quarter-mile offshore on the east end of the St. Petersburg Pier, Captain Al's offers dogs and their owners what may be the best view in town. Outdoor umbrella tables allow seating for 50 people. Eat dinner, have a drink and dolphin watch all while spending time with your pet. Dogs must remain on leashes at all times.

Fresco's Waterfront Bistro

300 Second Ave. NE, St. Petersburg; (727) 894-4429

Frescos is another location that offers dog owners and their pets a good view. Sitting on the southeast corner of the Pier approach, diners and their dogs overlook sailboats and Tampa Bay. A retractable awning allows climate controlled seated dining for 85 and a marble top bar where 40 more can stand. Frescos has pet bowls and treats for dogs. The perfect cap for the night, take your friend for a walk after dinner in one of the three parks adjacent to Frescos. Dogs are welcome anytime, but Yappy hour is 4-7 p.m. daily.

These bars have gone to the dogs 03/12/09 [Last modified: Thursday, March 12, 2009 3:28pm]
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