Since Ted’s Refreshments opened last fall on Fourth Street and Mill Avenue, it has had success as a hotspot for hot dogs, burgers and beer in Tempe. In February, Ted’s Refreshments, which describes itself as a “recreational drinking establishment and gathering hole,” added Ted’s Dog Park to its patio.
Other bars and restaurants across the United States have experimented with off leash areas for dogs, such as Yard Bar in Texas and The Watering Bowl in Colorado, but Ted’s Dog Park is Arizona’s first off leash dog park that also serves food and beverages.
Owner Julian Wright said that as a dog owner himself, it was important to him to incorporate a space for dogs so that they will enjoy going out just as much as their owners do. He said he noticed a lack of off leash dog-friendly bar patios in the state and decided to use the extra space that was already available at Ted’s Refreshments and turn it into a closed, off leash dog park “so that my dog and other dogs can play together while me and my friends have a beer.”
“I got a dog who likes going to any business I own that has a dog friendly patio. But they don’t really get to play with each other, they just kind of sit and get petted by other patrons, and he’s always kind of whining and dying to play with other dogs,” Wright said.
Wright said the community response since the opening of Ted’s Dog Park has been overwhelmingly positive, with at least 40-50 people and at least 20 dogs coming out on opening day.
“I think it’s definitely an amenity to the community for all the people who live in and around Tempe, for something fun to do on the weekends, it’s just one more activity to add to the list of things to do,” Wright said. “And then from a business standpoint, it helps the bar out. It creates awareness so we get new customers and increased revenue as well.”
In addition to being a great place for dogs to play, Wright said, the dog park will occasionally host events partnering with local dog rescues and sponsorships from local businesses that sell pet amenities such as dog food.
Ted’s Dog Park aims to provide a place for dog owners of Tempe to enjoy quality time with their friends, both furry and human. Wright hopes the bar becomes a staple in the community.
The dog park is approximately 700 square feet and is open Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. A sign at the entrance says “no mean dogs allowed.” In addition, owners are asked to keep their dogs’ barking to a minimum and clean up after their dogs.