There is a strict "no humping" rule at Cycle Dog Tavern.
It is, in fact, the first rule of Cycle Dog Tavern, written on a chalkboard, above "no herding," "no dominating play" and "no excessive barking." More bars should enforce such a policy, frankly, but in this case, it's less about decorum than simple pragmatism. After all, at least half the patrons are actual dogs. A boozy indoor dog park is one thing—a canine swingers' club is something even Portland isn't ready for.
But the boozy indoor dog park thing? Yes, please.
Cycle Dog was a pretty Portland idea to begin with—a pet supply company that makes leashes, beds and other accessories out of recycled bicycle tires. Moving a Frisbee-throw away from its original location late last year, the business has now added a fourth element to the Stumptown triumvirate of dogs, bikes and recycling: beer.
Related: Five Awesome Portland Pet Startups.
Still, in rebranding itself as a "tavern," you might expect Cycle Dog would just pull a bottle of High Life from a cooler behind the counter in hopes of making that squeeze toy you're considering a little more enticing.
But the new Cycle Dog is more pub than pet store. A full-on dark-wood bar sits at one end, below three television sets airing agility training videos where Timbers or Blazers games would normally play. There are no taps, but a surprisingly prodigious selection of canned microbrews, plus cider, wine and hard kombucha, and six benches positioned in the middle of the showroom, open to guests both bipedal and four-legged.
The "park" is really just a 60-by-40-foot pen adjacent to the bar, with a patch of synthetic turf outside for the warmer months, and it operates more like a bougie day care center: Admission costs $6 for one-time entry or $25 a month for a subscription, and newcomers must provide proof of up-to-date vaccinations.
In a city with more dog parks per capita than anywhere else in the country, is the access to a fridge of IPAs really worth the extra expense? You'll have to ask a dog owner. But for the rest of us, let's not overthink things: It's beer plus dogs. It's bliss.
Related: Portland Dog Parks, Ranked.
DRINK: Cycle Dog Tavern & Dog Park, 2056 NW Pettygrove St., 503-318-8066, cycledog.com. 10 am-7 pm Monday-Wednesday, 10 am-8 pm Thursday-Friday, 11 am-8 pm Saturday, noon-6 pm Sunday.