Monday, March 7, 2011

Dining Out with Your Dog?

By Andrea Kunicky

How would you feel about having your furry little friend accompany you to lunch or dinner outside on a restaurant’s patio?

Well, many in the area now are attempting for a bill to go before the General Assembly that would free Maryland to join in with Florida, California and Minnesota in allowing dining outside with your dog.

Delegate Dan K. Morhaim of Baltimore County is sponsoring the “Dining Out Growth Act of 2011.” He told the Baltimore Sun that the law would give a much-needed boost to the state’s restaurant industry, which has had a tough go of it in the recent economic downturn.

“Frankly, anything that develops economic activity right now is good,” Morhaim told the Sun. “Now when people are outside and walking their dogs, they’ll walk by a place where they’d like to stop and eat. But they won’t because they can’t.”

Many of the local restaurants in the area already welcome dogs, but hundreds more do not because of the state health code violations.

Tomorrow, the dining bill will be discussed at a hearing before the House of Delegates and the Government Operations Committee. According to the Sun, the proposal has the support of many Maryland restaurants, the Humane Society of the United States and the Maryland Health Department. If passed, the law would take effect in October.

So, what does everyone think about this hot button topic in the area? Personally, I am an avid dog lover and would be all for having our four legged friends out for a meal with their owner. But, in the end, the owner should know if the dog is well behaved enough to sit for an hour or two to eat, and to be cognizant of the others around them. I couldn’t see myself enjoying dinner on a patio to only be disrupted by a barking dog throughout my meal.

This will be interesting to see where this bill goes and if we can get more restaurants in the area to approve of this act, because ultimately, it could help their establishments grow more and increase their awareness and exposure to others in the community.

Andrea Kunicky
is an Account Executive at Maroon PR. Contact her at

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