Sorry, Fido, but you'll have to stay outside at Urban Chestnut Brewing Company from now on.
Dogs are no longer allowed inside Urban Chestnut Brewing Company’s locations, thanks to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Food writer Dan Neman was so upset by seeing a puddle of puppy piddle on the floor of Urban Chestnut’s bierhall in the Grove that he left twelve voice messages with the City of St. Louis Department of Health and published a rant, titled “Urine trouble at this St. Louis restaurant.”
“I could not help but think that someone was going to drop one of the restaurant’s truly excellent french fries on the floor, calculate that five seconds had not elapsed, and pop it unknowingly into his mouth,” Neman writes. He continues, “No one wants a Bavarian pretzel with a side of canine urine. And I doubt any restaurant would want to be perceived as selling it.”
Though not exactly legal, Urban Chestnut’s dog-friendly policy has long allowed locals to bring four-legged friends to its restaurants—a popular draw in a city that loves beer and dogs as much as it loves baseball. That changed Thursday when co-founder David Wolfe published a letter to customers announcing that dogs are no longer allowed inside following the Post’s article, though they are still welcome on the Midtown location’s biergarten and the Grove location’s terrace.
“Personally, as a dog owner, it’s been a lot of fun watching fellow dog-lovers accompanying their ‘best friends’ over beers & food at Urban Chestnut, and I’m disappointed that we have to make this change,” Wolfe says in the letter. “However, it is always our intention and practice to abide by the law, and thus I hope those of you who have brought your dog(s) by in the past will understand this decision.”
Technically, dogs aren’t allowed inside any St. Louis restaurants. Only service animals and on-duty police dogs are exempted, according to Chapter 10.04 of St. Louis’ city code. Wolfe says he has already reached out to St. Louis aldermen with hopes of changing the code to allow all dogs inside.
The bierhall where Neman found the infamous pee puddle.
Meanwhile, dog lovers are scouring Neman and the Post in the story comments for dedicating a 600-word article to the perils of dog pee:
“I read the article twice, because I was incredulous,” comments Kathy Deutsch, of Florissant. “If dogs come in, a dog might pee. Drunken people vomit. Babies smear food all over and drop it all over the floor. Things happen. The clean up is important. But it is NOT just dogs.”
“My coworker and I just discussed, a few days ago, how much we loved going to UCBC because people bring their dogs in,” comments Mychal Voorhees, Community Outreach and Public Health Services Coordinator for Becker Medical Library at Washington University. “It was truly one of my favorite aspects of the environment there, especially since I do not have a dog of my own. Pee or no pee. To the owners of UCBC, thanks for opening your doors to dogs for as long as you did.”
“Why don't you do a story on how much Urban Chestnut has given back to our community?” comments local animal lover Angela Smith. “I would love to be your first interview. I could tell you about the thousands of dollars in beer, time, and event space they've given to a local animal organization's Barktoberfest event. Their support made it possible to put thousands of dollars in a fund to help injured strays. I think that's pretty newsworthy, don't you?”
So thanks for blowing the whistle on doggie pee at Urban Chestnut, Neman. We just wish it’d been a dog whistle—so none of us two-legged brewery patrons would’ve had to hear it.