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Eat and Drink

‘Dog-friendly’ cafe Boris & Horton opens in the East Village

The father and daughter behind the coffee shop were driven by a desire for a canine-approved place to go with their dogs, Boris and Horton.

At this coffee shop, you don’t have to choose a cup over your pup.

A “dog-friendly” coffee shop where customers are welcome to bring their pooches inside officially opens in the East Village Friday.

To be clear, Boris & Horton isn’t positioning itself as the canine-equivalent of a cat café; no dogs will live at the storefront at 195 Avenue A, the coffee joint’s website explains.

But the combination eatery and retail shop invites dog owners and enthusiasts to sip their City of Saints java, order off an all-vegetarian menu with gluten-free and vegan options, snack on dog-shaped sugar cookies and shop for puppy and human swag (like pet bandannas, leashes and baseballs caps) all in the company of man’s best friend. Boris & Horton also serves humans craft beer and wine in the evenings, and will host adoption events for home-seeking hounds on weekends.

“Another fun bonus is our dog photo booth, which will be stocked with costumes so guests can get some great shots alongside their dogs,” co-founder Logan Mikhly, 28, said.

Mikhly and her dad, Coppy Holzman, named their business after their respective dogs, one a pit bull mix (Boris), the other a terrier mutt (Horton). The father-and-daughter team wanted to open an indoor eatery where they could hang out with their pets without incurring health code fines from the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, DNAinfo reported last year. (In March, dog lovers rejoiced when the Health Department relaxed its rules slightly, permitting restaurants to allow pups in outdoor dining areas under very specific conditions.)

Technically, Mikhly explained, the agency sees Boris & Horton as two separate enterprises: a counter-service coffee shop adjacent to a pet retail store, each with its own entrance. A sign on the glass wall between them warns pups they aren't welcome in the café, but assures them "it's not [their] fault." ("Remember that time you saw that squirrel and it looked RIGHT at you?" it continues. "That was such a good day. Focus on that.")

Human customers, however, are allowed walk between the door through a set of double doors in that wall. Solo visitors with dogs can place and pick up their orders from the cafe’s outdoor walk-up window before sitting down at a table on the retail side; groups can settle down at one of those tables first and then dispatch a representative to the indoor coffee shop counter, where they will claim the order when it’s ready; and fresh treats from the dog biscuit maker maison de pawZ are available for purchase on the retail side, in a “doggie bakery case.”

Boris & Horton isn't the only combination café and pet market in the five boroughs: Astoria's Château Le Woof, which serves coffee and sells pet food and treats, hosts a doggy playtime session after its café counter closes for the evening.

We recommend reviewing the “house rules” before you and your pup pay the café a visit: They include guidelines like “No off-leash play,” “Mind the hormones” and “No stray kids.”

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