Bring your dog to the bar?

Dog House Drinkery one of dozens of new style dog parks in area


Dog House Drinkery and Dog Park in Leander, a dog park and bar on 2.5 acres off of FM 1431, is part of the growing national trend by pet entrepreneurs who want to offer gathering places where dogs and their owners can socialize together while the owners have a drink or enjoy a game on television. 

“I was the first dog park and bar in the Austin area,” owner Melissa Barton said of her pet and drinking establishment which opened four years ago. “There are two now. The other one is more of an urban place. We are kind of country style.”

Barton, a Texas native who has been a pet lover since she was four years old and had a dog that was a basset-beagle mix named “Pretzel,” has a long history of helping families and their pets. And, she is an active supporter of Austin Dog Rescue.

“I have run all kinds of businesses. I have done pet training, managed pet stores and worked at veterinary clinics,” said the outgoing and personable Barton. “But I wanted to open something where people could have fun with their pets and with each other.”

“We are kind of like a ‘Cheers’ bar. Our customers get to know each other and their pets, and all kinds of fun things happen,” Barton said. “We have had couples meet here on blind dates with their dogs, we have had weddings and all kinds of great events. And on all of our events we give a percentage of the income to animal rescue.”

The Dog House Drinkery is located at 3800 CR 175 near the Leander-Round Rock city limits east of FM 1435. “Williamson County is just perfect for us,” said Barton. “We have people who come with their dogs from all over the area. Dogs are welcome off leash within the park and people can have a drink at our bar to enjoy beer and wine.”

“The main dog park area is fenced, with lights and plenty of shade,” said Barton. “There is a separate fenced area for small dogs and an area in the front of our property that is used for adoptions, training, yappy hours, birthday parties and other events. We do pictures with Santa at Christmas, with the Easter Bunny at Easter and all kinds of other events.”

Barton said day passes can be purchased for $5 per dog, but most of her customers buy memberships for $75 per year. The Dog House Drinkery is open six days a week, but closed on Mondays. Barton and her staff of dog lovers can be reached at (512) 630-5699 or online at

“I created Dog House Drinkery for those pet owners — like me — who always stress about leaving their pets at home when you want to go out with friends or catch a game,” Barton said.  “It is a great way to exercise your dog while you relax.”