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SF Dive Bars That Allow (and Don't Allow) Dogs

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Here's where to take Fido on your next bar outing.

A pooch imbibes at Boozeland.
A pooch imbibes at Boozeland.

In other cities, patrons looking to bring their dogs into a bar might be met with quizzical looks, but here in SF, pooches are a big part of the local imbibing scene. While a new law recently gave the OK to dogs on patios, dive bar regulars and their dogs have already long been welcome to coexist indoors at quite a few spots around the city, especially those with limited or no food. A bouncer at the 500 Club tells us it's a way for dogs to socialize with each other, but he rarely sees more than 10 inside a night. (Some are even die-hard fans; Eater spotted a dog wearing a Giants jersey during game time last night.)

Emperor Norton's Boozeland also gets 10 or so canines through its doors a day. The watering hole, which doesn't serve food, has had a pet-friendly policy since opening its doors in 2013, complete with a hashtag: #houndsofboozeland (it sits a couple blocks away from Twitter's HQ, after all). Boozeland is known for housing hounds on the regular, from pits to pugs to Yorkies, one barkeep tells us. (This may be because it's got one of the longest happy hours in the city, from 12-7pm.) Boozeland's sister bar in the Mission, Bender's, also says yes to dogs, as does Molotov's in Lower Haight, where pups are welcome, but Google Glass is verboten. Below Cesar Chavez sit another duo of dog-friendly bars, El Rio and Royal Cuckoo (though Royal Cuckoo requests that you "leave big Rottweilers at home...we are small.")

Indeed, not all S.F. dive bars are pro-pooch. Despite the portraits of canine patrons adorning its walls, the Mission's Kilowatt had to ban pooches this year after a drinker was bit. And sister dive bars Dear Mom and Whiskey Thieves say no to all species, aside from humans. (They're not stopping anyone from tying up dogs at the door while they drink; one hairstylist whose salon is up the street recently kept an eye on her mutt from the bar.)

Over in Oakland, at Heinold's First And Last Chance Saloon, owner Carol Brookman typically sees three or four tails wagging at once at her popular Jack London Square bar's outdoor patio. She does have standards, however: The longtime proprietor says dogs inside her doors must be well-behaved, "not crazy" and able to be around other dogs. And she lets them inside when it's not too busy; under the table is a good spot to rest near owners. Down the way at Beer Revolution, dogs are also allowed on the back patio- and they can even drink (from a provided water bowl, that is).

Tierney Plumb