The Portland area is now home to the world's first dog taphouse, according to its owner. It's part beer hall, part dog adoption center.
On one side, Fido's is a kid-friendly 40-tap drinking hall with wine, cider and 30 taps of beer—including the coffee and caramel porters favored by its owner, Scott Porter. The walls are plastered with pictures of dogs. And unless it's the Superbowl, the TVs also play videos of dogs.
"All the pictures in the taproom are dogs," says Porter. "There's not one beer sign. Even when you go to the bathroom, there's a dog rescue story."
But across the patio from the taproom, there's a little play area home to six puppies, all of which can come home with you.
There are a couple caveats, however: in the interests of keeping the peace, you can't bring your own dogs from home, and you've got to leave your beer and food in the taproom to go play with the dogs. "The food would make the dogs go crazy," says Porter. "And I really don't want to deal with broken glass."
After deducting the expenses of the kennels and play area, he donates 25 percent of profits to local animal charities including Oregon Friends of Shelter Animals, who provide the dogs available for adoption.
Fido's has been three years in the making, Porter says. It all started when he walked into cat cafe Purrington's and thought, "This would be different with dogs."
The charitable aspect of Fido's, says Porter, came about after he met the director of Oregon Friends of Shelter Animals and was inspired to bring a charitable focus to his business. Porter also plans a number of dog-themed events throughout the year.
The grand opening of Fido's is planned for February 13. Tigard mayor John Cook will be in attendance, as will a dog trainer with a Belgian Malinois dog.
"Hopefully the mayor can command the dog and it'll work," Porter says. "Otherwise the trainer will be there. And we'll have an artist coming in—a well-known artist who works with dog charities."
Porter says he already adopted out two dogs last week, and that two more dogs are leaving to new homes today. Andy, a long-haired doxie, and a shepherd-dachshund mix named Betty will be greeting their new homes today.
But Porter insists he's not trying to ply you with beers to fall in love with the dogs.
"We've talked about that," he says. "[Oregon Friends of Shelter Animals] won't let anybody adopt while they're here. There's a two or a three step process. But I joke about this: We don't want anybody here with a couple drinks, then you wake up in the morning with a leash in your hand and somebody licking your face."