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A Student and her dog walk on Jackie O's Taproom patio. 

Forget your college drinking buddy and grab a beer with your pooch instead

If you've ever wanted to enjoy a brew with your canine buddy, now is your chance. 

Gov. John Kasich signed House Bill 263 in July, which allows for Ohio restaurants to permit dogs to dine and drink with their owners on restaurant patios starting Oct. 29. The bill specifies that restaurants need to make sure that the presence of dogs does not violate health department standards for cleanliness and food safety. Before the bill, health codes prohibited dogs on patios.

A recent Ohio bill passed allowing dogs to accompany their owners to restaurants with patios. Find out what OU students think about the change.


Athens restaurants and bars — such as Broney's, Jackie O’s, and Sol Island Bar and Grill — that are known for their outdoor accommodations are all either planning to allow their patrons’ furry friends on their patios or, despite the health code regulations, allowed them on their patios prior to the bill being signed.

“We understand the love and compassion that our pets bring to us. With that being said, if we’re able to accommodate — keeping in mind that we need to comply with health code regulations — then we would love to do so,” Andres Castro Jr., the general manager of Jackie O’s, said.

Castro said prior to the bill being signed, Jackie O’s complied with health code regulations but did allow service dogs if they had proper documentation.

Broney's and Sol allowed dogs on their patios before the bill was signed. Both restaurants provide water bowls for their patrons’ dogs. Sol also has leash rigs on their outdoor tables to hold dogs' leashes while their owners eat.

“Right when we got to Broney's, they brought a dog bowl with water out,” •Patrick Hackett, a sophomore studying marketing, said. “It’s nice if dogs are allowed on that, because it would be an inconvenience if they weren’t allowed.”

Hackett and Castro both said Athens and Ohio University are one of the more dog-friendly communities in the state.

Marissa McCormick, a senior studying communication sciences, said she and her dog, Mika, often go out to restaurants, including Sol. 

“(Mika) loves people. She’ll sit right next to us; she doesn’t run around or anything,” McCormick said. “I think dogs should always be on a leash. I hate seeing people who walk their dogs around without one, so if they are going to be in a restaurant they should act like people too.”

Sophia Long, a freshman studying communication sciences, said she thinks the law is a reaction to the fact that a lot of restaurants already allow dogs on their patios.

“People have issues with everything, so I am sure there will be a couple people that will not be okay with (the law),” Long said.


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