A New Place for Fido to Play

Bark Social, the area's first off-leash dog park and coffee shop, opens at Pike and Rose in North Bethesda.

Photo by Christian Bowen on Unsplash

There’s a new destination in Montgomery County for dogs and their humans to enjoy the outdoors as the weather warms up. Bark Social, the area’s first dog bar, opened this past weekend at Pike and Rose in North Bethesda after several months of delays.

Co-founded by entrepreneurs and dog lovers Luke Silverman and Jeff Kurtzman, Bark Social boasts a 25,000-square-foot off-leash dog park plus open-air patio and climate-controlled clubhouse. Bark Rangers monitor the park (and clean up after the dogs) while humans enjoy a morning coffee, a mid-day kombucha or a “Yappy Hour” local brew. Breakfast items, snacks, sandwiches and salads are also available.

Dogs can eat, too: locally-made treats are available for good boys and good girls, including “dog beer” and pupsicles.

Bark Social, which was originally scheduled to open last October, will follow local and national protocols for COVID-19 safety measures. “Safety is priority number one,” says Silverman. Staff members are required to wear masks and have their temperature checked at the start of each shift, surfaces are regularly disinfected and all seating is arranged for social distancing.

There’s no entry fee for humans, but membership for dogs costs $39.99 per month or $365 per year. All pups must be up-to-date on their vaccinations.

“We want to be that opportunity for people to come back into the community re-engaged with their friends. Their dogs can get out and socialize again,” Silverman says. “We can have a beer, we can have a glass of wine, we can have a cup of coffee or a fresh lemonade that we make on-site and we can just try and get back to some sort of normalcy and socialization again in a comfortable environment.”

A version of this story, written by Hope Kahn, originally appeared in our October-November 2020 issue.


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