By Heather Brown

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Ike and Ziggy like the patio at Pizzeria Lola. Bourbon and Lola are fans of the taproom at Lakes and Legends Brewing.

“She enjoys it, especially if we have been gone all day,” said Margarey Zwiefelhofer, human mom to dog Lola. “We don’t want to leave her.”

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Not everyone feels the same way about dogs in public eating or drinking places. Louie wrote on Facebook, “Dogs should be allowed everywhere (well behave dogs). They bring joy to most people around them.”

Eunice wrote, “Keep all animals out of these places!”

It is topic that only gets more popular as the weather heats up. So, that has Kristine from Oakdale wanting to know: What are the rules for dogs eating and drinking out? Good Question.

“Unless it’s a service animal, dogs are not allowed wherever food or drink is sold in a restaurant or a bar, coffeehouse,” said Dan Huff, Minneapolis’ environmental health director.

(credit: CBS)

Minnesota is one of ten states with a law about dogs and outdoor restaurant spaces. According to MN Statute 157.175, cities may come up with local laws to allow food and beverage establishments to have dogs in outdoor spaces.

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The state law says, at minimum, dogs have to be on leashes and under reasonable control, and cannot be on chairs and tables. Any waste must be cleaned up, and employees cannot touch them.

In Minneapolis, the local ordinance requires restaurants to notify the city it allows dogs on patios. In Edina, food or beverage establishments must apply for a permit to allow dogs outside. In Bloomington, there is no local ordinance, so dogs are not allowed on patios in that city.

The Minnesota Department of Health says it receives “not very many” complaints about dogs inside eating and drinking establishments. The ones they get are investigated.

Huff says restaurants can choose whether or not they want to allow dogs outside.

Last year, restaurants could also apply to the state Department of Agriculture for a variance to a state health code that allow for dogs to be allowed inside taprooms that do not prepare food.

“In a taproom, we say it’s very low risk because you’re just pouring from a tap,” Huff said. “Make sure that the dogs are not behind the bar and not interfering with the food service, and there we say it’s OK.”

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The website Sidewalk Dog has compiled lists of restaurants, breweries, bars, coffee shops, stores and businesses that allow for dogs.

Heather Brown