Owner of Park Slope bar The Gate wants ban on dogs lifted

City code forbids dogs inside eateries.
City code forbids dogs inside eateries. Photo Credit: Taxi Driver’s Calendar

The owner of a Park Slope bar popular among dog owners said he wants the city to allow his-four legged patrons back inside.

Last week, the city’s health department fined The Gate, at 321 5th Ave., for violating city code that forbids dogs from going inside eateries after someone called 311. Since it opened in 1997, the Gate has allowed customers to bring in their pets and no one ever complained or felt unsanitary, according to its owner Bobby Gagnon.

“As soon as the health inspector came in, the community reacted and asked why?” he said.

Gagnon, who also lives in Park Slope, said he will find out more about the fine during a hearing next month and said he didn’t know why his bar was in violation since it doesn’t have a kitchen or serve food. He added that all costumers are asked to keep their dogs on leashes and at their side.

“For the longest time this was something I didn’t have to worry about,” he said

The health department, however, is sticking to its decision. In a statement, the agency said that it’s impossible to know if a dog has the proper immunizations or is completely healthy.

“Dogs can also carry dander and fleas and may shed, which could exacerbate allergies among a significant number of people,” the health department said.

Gagnon, who doesn’t have a dog, said he understands the city’s regulations and promote a healthy space, but at the same time he wants his establishment to be as welcoming as possible.

“The model is that we are a community house a public area,” he said. “A dog is an accepted part of the family and community.”