On a scorching Saturday afternoon, dog lovers flocked to NYC’s first dog-friendly café located in the East Village for the cool drinks, friendly company, and an adoption event.
Boris & Horton opened in January as a coffee shop that allows owners to bring their dogs. The Tiffany-blue coated walls hold separate spaces for where their on-trend food is sold and where dogs are allowed to roam, which ensures they comply with the Department of Health regulation of no animals near food production.
New York entrepreneur Coppy Holzman co-founded Boris & Horton with his daughter, Logan Mikhly, naming the shop after their dogs.
Holzman came up with the concept after years of standing outside coffee shops with their dogs, while Mikhly went inside to order and take out. “We thought, why don’t we talk to the health department, find out what the issues are, address those issues, resolve them, and open a dog friendly coffee shop,” he said. The structure of the restaurant, with its enclosure for dogs away from the coffee counter, resolved these issues.
Vic Dimonda, a teacher in the theater industry who resides in the East Village, is a regular at Boris & Horton. Dimonda’s relaxed, grandfatherly aura is emphasized by his rescued terrier, Daisy, cuddling on his lap.
Dimonda has seen a lot of turnover in coffee shops at this location in the East Village. He believes Boris & Horton will be more successful because the dogs make it special.
In other shops “earbuds are in, they’re on their computer, it’s a very individual event and this becomes a social event because of the animals,” said Dimonda. “It forces New Yorkers out of themselves.”
An important aspect of the shop’s work is supporting adoption events. On Saturday the shop hosted Muddy Paws Rescue, which was run through a van with dog cages parked at the curb outside the shop.
“The types of people that are coming to Boris & Horton are already dog people, so it’s like a good match up of interests. I think this is a great partnership,” said Linnea Iannazzone, Muddy Paws development director and program manager
Iannazzone said that approximately half of the Muddy Paws dogs would be rescued at the Boris & Horton event.
Photos © Darcey Pittman 2018