First ‘pet patio’ approved in Grand Rapids

Posted at 10:27 PM, Jul 31, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-31 22:31:27-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — One Trick Pony has become the first restaurant in Grand Rapids to be legally allowed to have dogs on its patio.

In June, a customer complained about a dog at One Trick Pony. Unofficially, the restaurant had been allowing dogs for about five years without any complaints or concerns. At the time, the restaurant did not have a permit to allow dogs on the patio.

One Trick Pony then received a warning from the Kent County Health Department and soon after, requested a variance, which legally allows them to have dogs on their outdoor patio.

The variance request was approved through the health department on Wednesday. It took owners Dan and Lisa Verhil about three weeks to go through the process of submitting paperwork prior to receiving the variance.

“It’s a totally special day,” said Lisa Verhil. “We’ve waited for this for a long time.”

In the past, bills have been introduced to the Michigan Senate in regard to allowing pets on public patios. Currently, restaurants must be permitted through the health department.

“We’re all about being a cool city in Grand Rapids,” said Lisa Verhil. “This just makes us even cooler to be officially pet-friendly.”

Many restaurants promote themselves as being dog-friendly. Technically, restaurants can get away with allowing dogs as long as complaints aren’t filed.

Legally and officially, One Trick Pony is the first in the city to legally allow dogs.