Cafés are the staple of many areas, but Munchies Coffee House & Barkery holds a special place in dog lovers’ hearts. Located at 1000 Upper Gage, laughter, chatter, and barks fill the air in Canada’s first dog-friendly eatery.
Every Thursday, Munchie’s members gather for the weekly Pack Walk N’ Talk event featuring a dog walk around the city, along with food and beverages to enjoy afterwards.
Rose and Gary James own the coffee house and also run the Hammer City Paws dog rescue. Many of the familiar wagging tails seen on the pack walk are rescue alumni.
“We’ve saved hundreds of dogs from Texas, LA, and of course, a lot of local surrenders as well,” Gary James said. “We would bring chihuahuas all the way from Texas and California and they would arrive here at four in the morning with all of our volunteers and fosters ready to go.”
Lorraine Callowhill is a long-time foster for the rescue organization and brings her two Hammer City Paws pups with her to the event every week.
“It’s a very enjoyable evening and the dogs love it here,” she said. “It’s nice for the dogs to interact with one another because they don’t get to do that on a regular walk.”
Gary and Rose opened the coffee house 11 years ago with the hopes of combining their favourite things.
“It’s never been done before, and we have our love of pets, so we thought ‘How do I incorporate what we love: food, dogs, music, photography and of course, helping dogs with the rescue?’” Gary recalled. “We’ve built up this wonderful community where people come and have fun and eat and talk about everything in their daily lives and of course their dogs.”
Years later, the coffee house is a popular destination for both people and dogs alike. What better way to spend your day than with your furry friend by your side?