We pet-parents have always been welcomed invariably; by malls, restaurants, parks, gardens, beaches and all other places that are openly accessible; by a sign board that says “Pets Not Allowed!” This has been a bone of contention for almost all the pet-parents. Somewhere or the other, there is a bit of a hesitation in allowing pets into public places due to various reasons. One of the most cited reason is hygiene, disturbance and most importantly space crunch. For the ones, like me, who tried to sneak our pets into a restaurant or even a garden, have always been reminded of our pets being “animals”. While at home, we pet-parents have always made sure that our pets get the same treatment that any of our family members do; it becomes heart-wrenching when somebody, in a very crude manner, points it out that your pet is “after all, an animal”. Let alone being welcomed whole heartedly, our pets do not even get the basic respect or compassion that each living being deserves. Some cafes, who claim themselves to be pet-friendly, have an outdoor area where we need to seat our pets. But, for obvious reasons you could always tell that your pet is not being welcomed whole heartedly. There are countries which feature fine dining restaurants that allow customers to bring their pets along. But that is a far cry as far as our country is concerned. So one has no choice but to leave his pet alone at home.
It might as well be a dream come true for many pet-parents who have been yearning to go out and have a dinner with their pets. I have had such experiences too. I had to leave Angel (my 6 year old Daschund) at home and go for a dinner. Not that she didn’t have anything to eat, she had her favourite food in her platter. But as soon as I came back home, I could see her being sad and that her platter is untouched. It would always make me feel guilty, for I might have had a sumptuous meal and Angel here, would have starved herself. This would not have happened if I could take her along.
Veterinary doctors claim that this separation can lead to ‘behavioural issues’. According to them, the pets that are frequently brought outdoors and made to socialise with other pets and humans are the happiest pets of all. But how many of us get to do that? On a weekday, each one of us has his own livelihood to work for and on a weekend, we always have to leave our pets at home when we have to go out for a dinner or a party. Is there no work-around for this?
Yes, there is. This article is all about the places, for Mumbaikars, where they could enjoy dining, not only with their loved ones (humans) but also with their pets.
Gostana is one of the first places in Mumbai that whole heartedly welcomed our pets. A café that is famous for its healthy salads and burgers, is also a heaven for pet-parents and their pets. The homely set up and a cozy atmosphere, makes it the right place to spend time with your pet. Located in Bandra, it offers home cooked healthy pet meals too. The only thing you need to do is to inform them that you are going to bring your pet so that your pet too enjoys a sumptuous meal while you dive into their yummy burgers. Not just for this, Gostana is also famous for Apple! Now, here neither am I talking about the famous tech biggy company not about the fruit. Apple is a very adorable Labrador. She would be the first one to welcome you in. There are people who come to Gostana just to spend time with Apple. These are the ones who cannot or are compelled not to have pets.
Alibaba is a restaurant in Apollo Bunder. It allows dogs in its outdoor porch. You can walk your pet near the Getaway of India and make the moment memorable by having a delicious meal at Alibaba. In this café, which is located in Colaba, you can as well place an order for your pet and the same will served to him.
The Bagel Shop is your destination if a cozy, comfortable and peaceful place is your preference. As in case of Alibaba, here too pets are only allowed in the outdoor seating area. But you need not worry as the area is well covered, thus making it -and I quote them here -“the perfect place for you and your pet to lounge with ease.”
Mutt Hutt Café is a pop-up restaurant. Pop-up, meaning the establishment is not permanent and that it keeps shifting from place to place. The major reason for such an arrangement is that the licensing rule for any permanent eatery prohibits cooking for pets and humans under a single roof. This is one of the places where the pets and their pet-parents can dine together. And mind you, not just dine but take part in other fun activities as well. This arrangement is a clever one, because on one hand it gives its customers a delightful experience with their pets and on the other hand it also gauges market’s response to such a pet café. The Mutt Hutt Café keeps popping up at various locations in and around Mumbai. It is an ideal pet café, though a temporary one.
Undoubtedly, the above mentioned places are worth visiting. Such pet-friendly efforts are commendable. But nothing makes your pet happier than you spending time with him. The amount of time spent with him is also secondary, what is of most importance is the quality of the time spent.