Food & Drink

Legalize Dogs: Get Ready to Finally Dine Outdoors with Your Dog in NYC

Soon, our four-legged friends will finally be able to get an invite to brunch. While it's not uncommon to see throughout NYC, food service establishments are currently unable to welcome our furry friends into outdoor dining areas under current law, but new statewide legislation could change that, according to a report by The New York Times.

The New York State Senate unanimously voted to approve a bill on Wednesday that would give restaurants the option of welcoming dogs in outdoor dining spaces as long as they're accompanied by a person. The legislation is expected to pass the State Assembly, according to the report, and with Gov. Andrew Cuomo's signature, the law would launch the days of dog-friendly dining of our dreams. 

Unsurprisingly, the law would come with some limitations, so as not to turn your al fresco lunch into an unexpected trip to the dog park. For example, dogs must be kept on leashes. Additionally, restaurants choosing to allow dogs will be required to provide a separate entrance for diners and their canine companions, so that dogs never go inside the establishment or any outdoor food preparation areas, according to the Times. Oh, and communal water bowls would be forbidden, so every doggy will have to be provided its own dish. 

As for cats, the legislation apparently makes no mention of the possibility of dining with your favorite feline, so clearly this bill was funded by Albany's powerful dog lobby -- who knows how many bacon biscuits changed paws behind closed doors???

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Tony Merevick is Cities News Editor at Thrillist and can't wait to see all of the cute dogs hanging out at brunch. Send news tips to and follow him on Twitter @tonymerevick.

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