Dogs now allowed in outdoor dining areas

Thursday, October 21, 2010 at 12:47am

It’s official. Pet dogs are finally allowed in restaurants.

In recent years, restaurants throughout Nashville started offering special periods for pet-owner patrons to bring their dogs to outdoor dining areas or patios. The practice went on even though Metro held a policy outlawing dogs on the premises of restaurants.

That changed Tuesday night when the Metro Council adopted a bill proposed by Councilwoman (and animal lover) Karen Bennett that takes advantage of a state law passed last year that authorizes municipalities with populations greater than 100,000 people to allow the presence of dogs in outside eating areas.

The bill passed by a 32-3 vote, with council members Charlie Tygard, Michael Craddock and Robert Duvall the dissenters.

Restaurant owners themselves can still decide whether they want to allow dogs onto outdoor eating areas of their establishments. To do so, they must pay an annual fee of $20 to receive a special permit through the Metro Health Department.

The new law establishes several rules and guidelines to address health and sanitation concerns.

• Restaurant employees are required to wash their hands after touching dogs

• Restaurants reserve the right to refuse to serve an owner if the owner “fails to exercise reasonable control over the pet dog” or if the dog acts in a manner that compromises the health or safety of others

• Employees of restaurants must not allow dogs to come into contact with dining utensils, plates and other equipment

• Patrons are required to keep their dogs on leashes no longer than six feet

• Dogs are not allowed on chairs, tables or other furnishings

• Accidents involving dog waste must be cleaned up and sanitized immediately. Restaurants are required to keep cleaning kits near outdoor areas for this purpose

• Restaurants allowing pets in outdoor dining areas are required to post a sign that outlines applicable rules.

Filed under: City News

36 Comments on this post:

By: chetuno on 10/21/10 at 6:43

Now if only Nashville would stop animal control from killing so many dogs and cats that end up at our "shelter".

By: govskeptic on 10/21/10 at 5:03

Sorry, your cute little Pit Bulls and Yorkies have to be left
behind. Why is Tygard always tied to some of the sillest
legislation that comes through the council?

By: budlight on 10/21/10 at 6:33

now in addition to normal restaurant germs, such as ecoli, salmonella and food poisoning, we have to contend with dogs pissing on table legs -- or our legs. Vote out the stupid council members who voted this in.

By: cval on 10/21/10 at 6:49

Amazing that restaurants have to pay a fee to be able to exercise their freedom to deny animals on their premises. Shouldn't it be the other way around? How can a council take upon itself to deny the rights of citizens who don't want more germs on their food and business owners without a ransom fee and give unsanitary rights to others? Is the council going to pay for the extra work involved or time lost from employees racing to wash their hands? Is council paying for the print costs to post these signs? Is their intention to make us all sick or just to kowtow to idiot travelers who don't have sense enough to leave their pets at home? You don't have to prove you love animals by endangering others' health. I agree. Vote these idiots out. This is not what they were elected to do.

By: nash615 on 10/21/10 at 6:58

It was voted in. Deal with it.

By: mnorth on 10/21/10 at 7:21

cval you need to go back and read the article. The fee is to allow dogs at the establishment. And do some fact checking on your "unsanitary" comments and "endangering others' health." That cell phone you are using has far more germs on it than the average dog - and I would bet you eat with that thing on the table next to you at times, or even use the phone while eating! Oh, and according to a recent study that cell phone is harboring more germs than a toilet handle! I don't think any similar studies have been reported about dogs :-)

By: xhexx on 10/21/10 at 7:24

Another win for Nashville's homosexuals. Where'd all these damn liberals come from in the first place?

By: dustywood on 10/21/10 at 7:33

Yuppies and puppys.....It can work out with well behaved adult, neutered dogs. Males will always hike a leg, neutered or not. Some females, too. It is just nature to them to mark their place. Not too many folks have the perfect dog, just like your children are not perfect. But it is an option. Germs are everywhere folks.

By: HighlyAnnoyed on 10/21/10 at 7:53

I guarantee you my dog is more well-behaved and has less communicable diseases than your little brats.

By: Alphadog7 on 10/21/10 at 7:54

It's still up to the restaurant, folks. I doubt we will see every restaurant doing this, probably only the neighborhood places. Now if we can complete the smoking ban... I'd rather share dinner with dogs than tobacco smoke any day.

By: american1974 on 10/21/10 at 8:03

I have an idea! How about every girl who is over 25 and not married go out and buy a dog and treat it like it’s their baby. Let us never fix the millions of social problems this country has, keep destroying the American family, and we will just replace everything with dogs. Alright! We can sit around talking about our dogs instead of kids! We can keep going down this mentally warped track, society is on because mommy and daddy is divorced and doesn't love me.
Can I bring my pet pig and cat? Why not? It's a pet! I've replaced my kids with a pet pig. and cat. I’m so dysfunctional I talk to my pets like they are human. I grew up in a subdivision locked in my room watching Disney movies of talking animals and I think they should be able to vote.

By: TITAN1 on 10/21/10 at 8:07

HighlyAnnoyed, that was so pathetic and uncalled for. I love my dog but he isn't going to a restaurant.

By: joe41 on 10/21/10 at 8:08

This is good news for those of us who have clean well behaved dogs.

By: AmyLiorate on 10/21/10 at 8:24

This town is going to the dogs. haha

By: ButchMorton on 10/21/10 at 8:32

Alphadog7 is correct; it will be mostly neighborhood places where folks can walk. Responsible dog owners make sure their dog is well behaved and doesn't leave a calling card. We're told that handgun permit holders are responsible, law abiding citizens from whom we have nothing to fear, could not the same analogy apply to the dogs in restaurants/bars?

By: 2476 on 10/21/10 at 8:35

I have a dog, but I will respect the rights of others and not take it to a restaurant. Also I will not eat where dogs are allowed, as there is enough germs in outdoor dining to go around. I don't want to be eating and see a dog hunker down to relieve themselves.

By: steelergirl on 10/21/10 at 8:36

omg...some of these comments are from crazy people - like american 1974 - where is your head at..up your ***? you have issues my friend...i HATE going to restaurants or walmart and hearing little kids screaming while their parents think they are cute. i dont go to dinner to listen to them whining or crying. We do not think our pets are humans, but animals are part of this world and are not toys to abandon like some of think...its sad that this story riles up such anger in some of you when we are simply talking about pets sitting at our feet...

By: xhexx on 10/21/10 at 8:49

Butch, HCP holders are far less likely to try and hump your leg as you walk by. Or pee on the floor.

By: budlight on 10/21/10 at 8:55

joe41 on 10/21/10 at 9:08
This is good news for those of us who have clean well behaved dogs.

Joe41 when some dummy asks me "does your dog bite"? I say "NOT YET". Dogs are unpredictible or else how do you explain the dog that kills a baby, it's owner or another dog?

MY sis had 2 LOVELY, well mannered dogs. One day, in her living room, right in front of her, one of her well mannered dogs wanted the toy from the other dog. So it started a fight and killed the dog. SHE was frozen with terror.

So much for well behaved dogs. And I don't want to eat dinner, while a dog laying next to my table is licking it's private parts. Or marking it's territory. And they will. Wait and see.

By: budlight on 10/21/10 at 8:56



By: may not on 10/21/10 at 9:00

"By: xhexx on 10/21/10 at 8:24

Another win for Nashville's homosexuals. Where'd all these damn liberals come from in the first place?"

Jaysus, xhexx, you are out there! Or maybe just "out" with your homophobia.

Gay dogs have just as much right to dine out as heterosexual dogs.

And as for liberal dogs, at least they can't vote! They might decide go all pit bull on you and vote for nutcases like that witch up in Delaware.

Observation: when the Council has an unsettling big vote to decide (Omni Hotel support), they'll always fluff up their doggie beds with silly legislation like doggie dining.

Man, I could go for a Salty Dog right about now!

By: GilTempleton on 10/21/10 at 9:14

I guess Robert Duvall probably said, "Smells like...defeat." Oh yes I did!

By: Loretta Bridge on 10/21/10 at 9:38

I love dogs and really don't care as long as they have separate seating area for people without dogs. I don't went a table beside a dog anymore than I want a table beside a
smoker. Then again since I can carry my gun with me I can take care of the problem myself.

By: on 10/21/10 at 10:05

Wow, if Mr. Levy was still around we would have to worry that he might shoot a dog that was barking at the table.

By: GilTempleton on 10/21/10 at 10:15

"Get back, Loretta..." (I just keep 'em comin')

By: TITAN1 on 10/21/10 at 10:57

steelrgirl, that name explains it all. BTW, were you born an adult?

By: viridiana2 on 10/21/10 at 11:51

H. Silk It seems to me that this is quickly becoming a good time to stay out of restaurants. First, what used to be mainly an adult activity became overrun with screaming children and babies. Fast food places are one thing but a good place especially after 7pm should not be filled with children. Next, we want to allow everyone to take a gun with them just about anywhere at any time. Lovely. Now, we want all those folks that are convinced that animals are little people with fur suits to be able to have them with them everywhere. I swear the place that would get my business would be one that admits only those over 21, No guns ever, and human clientele only. I have both a child and a pet by the way and love them both, but enough is enough.

By: dogmrb on 10/21/10 at 12:57

Boy, some of you really know how to hurt a guy's feelings! I don't want to be around humans who don't like dogs anyway!

By: localboy on 10/21/10 at 2:50

Amy wins for the best post on the story.

By: HighlyAnnoyed on 10/21/10 at 8:53

"I guarantee you my dog is more well-behaved and has less communicable diseases than your little brats." I'll have to grant you the diseases comment; I've yet to have a dog who needs tubes in its ears. More well-behaved? No chance, unless you are beating that dog like a Confederate mule.

By: xhexx on 10/21/10 at 9:49

"Butch, HCP holders are far less likely to try and hump your leg as you walk by. Or pee on the floor." xhexx, speak for yourself...;)

By: budlight on 10/21/10 at 3:16

localboy; you're right about Amy's post. Very funny.

I, too, LOVE my dog. However his majesty Samuel Jackson Ames, aka Sammie boy, is NOT going to sleep in my bed, eat at my dinner table or go out to a restaurant with me.

next week, I'm on a short vacation; he's with a pet sitter.

AND HCP might not hump your leg, but some of them can scare the beejeebies (or pee) out of you.

By: bunnymaytrix on 10/21/10 at 8:22

GAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!! Dogs in restaurants...really? Cigarette smoke is NOT an allergen...NO MATTER HOW MUCH YOU WANT TO SAY YOU ARE ALLERGIC>>>YOU AREN'T!!!! SMOKE? is an irritant ONLY... An IRRITANT!! and we can't SMOKE in restaurants but 30%...30 people in EVERY 100...THIRTY PERCENT are actually ALLERGIC to animals...and pets are allowed in restaurants>>>? WHAT THE F*CK?!?!PEOPLE!!! HELLO!!!I have been a respiratory therapist for 20 years... I indulge people who say they are " allergic" to smoke... OKAYOKAY whatever... but you AREN"T!!!!! It IRRITATES your airways... you are not allergic. Cats and Dogs are ALLERGENS and some people have anaphylactic reactions to them... but they can now be allowed in dining facilities?!?!?!?!And cigars can't... What are we thinking????SIX feet away? A steaming, skunklike dump from a dog while my food is being placed in front of me is supposed to smell better at only six feet away?? Freakin' NUTS you are!!!!

By: chaos2020 on 10/21/10 at 8:30

Cool. I can take my rottweiler to some of the restaurants where I'm not allowed to take my gun. :-)

By: bunnymaytrix on 10/21/10 at 8:51

It is like saying it is OKAY to STEAL a car but NOT okay to SPEED in it!!!!!!!!!!!!!

By: cantwealljustge... on 10/22/10 at 9:53

If you don't like it, just eat inside.

By: luvdogz on 10/23/10 at 12:03

Well, I am so proud of Nashville for doing this and was about to post this article on my FB page, but changed my mind after reading these crazy comments. I'm too ashamed for my out of state friends to read this... tsk tsk tsk...

By: gohomenow on 10/24/10 at 10:03

Wow, restaurant owners have another right to run their business as they see fit - how terrible ! What gives these people the right to do that ???? - sarcasm.
I figure that I have the right to go someplace else and spend my money if I don't like the way any business runs things and that it's not mine nor the government's right to tell them how to run things.