Sitting on 2 acres on the Riverfront in downtown Kansas City, Missouri, Bar K is a fun, new destination for people and dogs. It features a fully staffed, state-of-the-art dog park with a modern bar, restaurant and coffeehouse. Professional “dogtenders” monitor the dogs while they play on unique equipment (like the Westlake Doggy Jungle Gym and ROKC Dog Climbing Wall), while humans can hang out with their dogs in the park or visit the bar and restaurant, which is built entirely out of repurposed shipping containers.
Bar K was started by Leib Dodell and David Hensley who were looking for a fun, safe place to meet friends, grab a drink or a bite to eat — but not have to leave their dogs at home. Not only did they solve this problem for themselves, they solved it for lots of other dog lovers.
Leib loves seeing the joyful looks on the faces of the human and dog guests as they enjoy the park. “We believe we have tapped into the special connection between people and dogs in a very powerful way,” Leib says. “We are always coming up with new and creative experiences for people and dogs to enjoy together — concerts, 5Ks, trivia nights and singles events.”
The response to Bar K has been overwhelming. Leib says that more than 70,000 people and 40,000 dogs have come through the park in the first six months of operation.
What’s next for Bar K? “To create a joyful and unique social, recreational and educational experience for people and dogs, starting in Kansas City and expanding around the country,” Leib says. “We believe that all communities need creative, safe spaces for people and dogs.”
Get more details at barkdogbar.com, and @barkdog bar on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Annie Butler Shirreffs has worked in the pet industry for 20 years and is currently the senior editor of Catster and Dogster magazines. A cat lover since she was a little girl, she has always had feline friends in her life. She and her husband share their Southern California home with their four cats, Agatha, Alastair, Jack and Mathilda, and an ever-changing clowder of foster kittens, all of whom enjoy being testers for cool, new products.