Featured Images: Pups and Pints patrons of all ages enjoying a sunny Saturday afternoon, socializing their pets on the lawn and even at the outdoor bar while grabbing a bite to eat. Sasha Saxon | Marlin Chronicle
A haven exists for dog-lovers to savor beverages and socialize both themselves and their pets. If your family dog stays at home or you want to give your emotional support dog a field day, Pups and Pints combines a pristine dog park with a quintessential backyard bar.
In addition to a dozen local brews and cleverly named puppy pun cocktails, their prolific menu features affordable shareables: flatbreads, finger food, sandwiches, gourmet hot dogs and classic American football fare on Sundays.
Pups and Pints offers dog owners total relaxation. Daycare service operates during the week and trained officials monitor the off-leash–fenced–park with water elements. For human customers, the indoor sports bar spills out onto a manicured patio with fire pits, plenty of seating and lawn games such as cornhole and jumbo Jenga.
One of the co-owners, Christina Sims, a Virginia Beach native and owner of a veterinary practice, helped open this establishment earlier this year. Since then, it has developed a fair share of regulars and ushers in newbies every week.
Regardless of whether a customer brings a dog with them, everyone is welcome to play badminton and chat with friends on the bench swing or at the bar. As Sims said, “You can come with a dog or without! You just have to like dogs.”
When Sims met her business partner, they “immediately hit it off and started brainstorming ideas to make an amazing place that offered a peaceful, safe environment where you could bring your family and most importantly your four legged family member,” said Sims.
This simple idea evolved to help animals and their humans overcome anxiety developed during the COVID-19 quarantine, when socialization was low and COVID-19 puppies were a surging trend.
In doing so, Pups and Pints brought life into the neighborhood. Sims said, “I feel like our establishment gives added beauty and enriches the community surrounding us.” Sitting on two square acres, the building “sat for over ten years with boards covering [its] windows and behind chain link fencing because vandals broke into [it],” Sims said.
Now, revamped, Pups and Pints is an extension–the community’s backyard.
On their Facebook page, a slew of scheduled events can be found. Given the huge outdoor space, Pups and Pints has more than enough room for collaborative bourbon tastings, Barktoberfest with vendors, live music with temporary stages, charity fundraisers and dog foam parties.
During my visit, Sim’s mission statement was echoed by my fellow patrons who were extremely willing to let me photograph and engage with their dogs.
Customers ranged from those on full family outings with the family pet, to two friends grabbing drinks and just watching puppies play. The bar and kitchen staff were uber friendly, eager to connect me with management, and quick with service. Despite the many tasks of owning a thriving business, Sims stepped away from the office to make time for her customers.
When asked about her favorite menu items, Sims stated that she loved their tacos, but that their signature drinks, like the Fancy Frenchie–a fizzy peach libation–were as much of a hit as their fried chicken sandwich with mac and cheese.
The fry flight that I ordered came with battered, crisp fries and five lucious sauces. Regardless of what item you might order, all food is prepared to order.
For Virginia Wesleyan students interested in visiting, it is a genuinely fantastic place to gather with friends around the fire pit and sample the new fall cocktail menu, all while meeting dogs. Additionally, Yappy Hour features heavily discounted drinks and food specials, Monday through Friday, 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Pups and Pints is open Monday through Thursday, 2 p.m. to 8 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
For dog owners interested in using the off-leash facilities, the fenced park and daycare services, the puppies must be registered on the Bar-K Park app–this enables animals to show proof of vaccination. These services do come with fees since they require the attention of employees for the safety of the animals and equipment.
By Sasha Saxon