Dating in the city can be tough. With Manchester’s residents working at 100mph, meeting someone new and asking them out on a date can seem an almost impossible feat.
So imagine what life is like for our four-legged companions whose only interaction with members of their own species comes from those daily walks around the block, before and after their owners’ hard day at the office.
But what if there was a place where owners could take their beloved pooches in the hopes of finding a date for both them and their canine companions? Or perhaps just lots of doggy cuddles and cake.
Designed to help local dog owners and their hounds find companionship with like-minded dog fanatics, popular Northern Quarter venue 19 Café Bar are hosting a monthly doggy date night that city centre dog owners would be barking mad to miss.
Offering a fun evening full of coffee, cake and doggy love, the event includes prosecco on arrival – strictly for humans only – and a choice of handmade cakes and unlimited hot beverages all evening.
And don’t worry, because they also have exclusive doggy bags available for your canine pals to keep their tails wagging on the journey home.
“We never really promoted as a business that we were a dog friendly place,” says Nikita Lyle, owner of 19 Café Bar.
“We wanted to get the message out there that dogs and their owners are welcome here. We’ve had lots of customers ask if we’re a dog-friendly venue, so we thought doing this would be a great way of showing people that we love dogs.
“It’s a mixture of networking, meeting new people who are also dog owners, and just having some fun and socialising. It’s a monthly event, the first one did really well, with a mixture of ticket sales and people buying tickets on the door. Manchester is dog mad!
“People loved it and they thought it was an amazing idea. When guests left the venue on the evening there was tons of positive feedback. We even had a lot of students turn up. They paid on the door to get in, without dogs, just so they could play with other people’s dogs, and they thought it was the best thing ever and said they’d definitely be back for the next one.
“The guests who came said they’d never been to anything where their dogs could socialise with other dogs. Often in the city centre, dogs don’t get to spend that much time with other dogs so it’s especially great for them. And it’s great for the owners, too, because they get to meet other city centre dog owners. I even saw a few of them exchanging numbers on the night.
“You’ve got the cat cafe in Manchester, and i’ve heard there’s a new dog cafe opening soon, but here people get to bring their own dogs to socialise, so it’s much better for city centre dog owners and we’re really excited for the next one.”
And the question we’re all itching to ask: what breeds were at the event?
“We were really surprised at how many different breeds of dog there were – we had huskies, a giant dog that looked like a polar bear, spaniels, bulldogs, chihuahuas, and loads of different smaller types too. There was that many breeds there, I couldn’t name them all.”
Brooke Scholes, 20, was at the first doggy date night held in August and agrees:
“The event was amazing, highly accommodating of both dogs and their owners and a great value for money. The party bags were a lovely touch too, and our dogs loved them. The staff were so lovely and I would definitely return.”
The next doggy date night is on 4th October 2018 with tickets priced at just £10 each. Bargain.