Community Post

Health department warning means no more dogs inside Tougo Coffee

If you’re a lover of coffee or dogs – or in this case, likely both – you may have noticed the new “No Dogs Allowed” sign posted in the front window of one of the Central Area’s beloved coffee shops, Tougo Coffee, near the corner of 18th & Union.  The cafe has a relaxed, neighborhood living room type of atmosphere and has long been known as kid and dog friendly.

We learned from Erin and Dan’l at Tougo that the Health Department received an emailed complaint that a dog was inside the cafe.  Health Department Code clearly states that animals other than service animals may not be allowed in establishments serving food. 

Despite not preparing food on the premises the fact that the cafe serves food and beverages does mean that technically Tougo cannot allow animals indoors. 

Apparently the health official was very understanding and let them off with a warning, however this means Tougo has to step up their enforcement of the rule. While this is disappointing for dog owners in the neighborhood hopefully it won’t result in the same uproar that occurred when Cafe Ladro on 15th Avenue in Capitol Hill went through a similar experience last April. 

If you wander in to the coffee shop with your pooch you will be politely asked to escort your pet outdoors where s/he can enjoy some water and a doggie treat, which they will continue to provide.

0 thoughts on “Health department warning means no more dogs inside Tougo Coffee

  1. I for one am glad to see this change at Tougo Coffee. Dogs are filthy animals. They enjoy eating their own (and others) feces. This decision will improve the health and well being of the entire neighborhood.

  2. Jman – it’s idiots like YOU that probably call the health department instead of just manning up and talking to Brian (the owner). Go play with your stupid cat somewhere and keep you idiotic comments to yourself. Asshole.

  3. Norm’s Eatery & Ale House (in the Fremont neighborhood) allows dogs in their establishment and advertise that they are dog-friendly with a full kitchen… maybe because it is also a bar?!?

  4. You open a business that serves food and don’t enforce Dept of Health requirements and the public is disappointed? I have to admit, it never occurred to me to bring my dog (or cat) into any restaurant or coffee shop out of respect for the law, the owner and patrons of the establishment. Weird that some pet owners weren’t aware of a pretty widely known basic law.

  5. Jman enjoy’s eating his own (and others) feces. his over due suicide decision will improve the health and well being of the entire neighborhood.

  6. It’s the FDA who sets the rules… It’s pretty clear that the only pets allowed in dining areas are tanks of fish. It would seem a bar falls under these rules as much as any establishment, especially if they sell food.

  7. Agreed, it seems like common sense, however because they do not prepare food I think some people thought it wasn’t held to the same health department regulations.

  8. meaning, it’s up a regulation, but some owners can allow dogs into their place of business. several pubs do this, but it’s self-policing. The minute somebody complains, it’s over. In West Seattle, there is a great bar that allows dogs, but it’s against policy. They self-police, which is nice.

  9. Ah, but its not private property. If it were your personal kitchen and you wanted to have coffee with your neighbor, then you dog would be just fine there – he could lick out the coffee cups for all anyone could do about it, but if you want to start selling food to the public you need to be licensed, you give up some of the private rights you have and you subject yourself to regulation.

  10. i work in a cafe where we like to let people bring in dogs but get the occasional complaint from customers (once every couple years). the pet rules are enforced by the county health department and they have to come out if someone complains, but at least from my interactions with them they kind of resent having to do it and feel like it shouldn’t be their job.

    last time i talked to them they told me that if you ask someone whether or not their dog is a service animal, and they say yes, you must allow that animal in the establishment (unless it starts causing a disturbance) AND (and this is the kicker) it is illegal to ask for proof. if the customer knows that, that is basically a way for us to cover our ass and everyone (except the complainy complainer) is happy.

  11. A dog owner seeing that their dog ready to answer the call of nature, in any business, would most likely attempt to remove it before it could become an issue. If an accident did occured, I doubt it would remain long enough to be of any interest for another pet. As it is, I do not beleive I have ever seen any instances similar to what JMan describes.

    As it is, I had wondered what the rules were for allowing pets into stores that sell or serve food, and have seen a number of dogs inside QFC on Broadway, and Safeway on 23rd.

  12. You can ask 1) Is this a Service Animal? (Service Dog after the ADA changes take effect March 15 2011)
    2) What tasks does this animal do for you (disabled handler) that you cannot do for yourself?

    If the person says “The dog keeps me calm” then most likely it is an ESA.

  13. That’s just great. You are coaching people on how to lie about whether their dog is a service animal or not. Either your dog is a service animal or it isn’t. Yes, business owners need to allow service animals in to businesses. No, business owners and patrons do not need to lie about service dogs. If you think the law is stupid then work on changing it, not how to lie to get around it. If you respect that it is illegal to ask for proof, why don’t you respect the law that says no animals in places that serve food and beverages? At the end of the day you are breaking the law, encouraging others to do the same, and even going so far as to teach others how to do it. Classy.

  14. Jennifer, your written response tone is so condescending and trite every time you respond, have you been given that feedback? If not, allow me. I agree with your stance many times, but man, ease up and stop wagging your finger and talking down to people while you play here. Feedback and dialogue or so much more engaging and enjoyable if participants play nice and don’t constantly go for the jugular.

  15. I’m not here to play. I call it like I see it and speak what’s on my mind. How is your tone any less condescending? I have never gone for anyone’s jugular on this site. Is it even possible to go for someone’s jugular online? Don’t worry about me just do you.

  16. They are aware, they just don’t care. These people are the reason we need laws on the books relating to this issue and many others. And they confuse respect for others as some violation of their selfish ways. Break out the violin.

  17. I knew you would have a few lines full of retort, it’s always a treat, you bring such positivity in each of your posts. Really.

  18. I don’t doubt they resent having to waste tax payer resources for an incident that can be very easily avoided if the business owner and/or the employee(s) enforced health code policies.

  19. I disagree that coaching people to lie makes any business owner or employee a valuable member of our community. Can we keep in mind that some people’s quality of life depends on service dogs, and not cheapen that by every lapdog-obsessed person lying to keep their dog with them at all times?

  20. Is there not any middle ground? What if the food establishment/coffee shop/bar were able to have a waiver for people to sign to the effect that they comply to all other health code rules with the exception of no dogs? Assuming that were the law, would those who hate dogs in these places be content to let them be and frequent other establishments and not worry about it?

  21. …and the people, with every possible disease known and unknown to mankind, are still sitting inside nurturing their belief they are above it all. Read “SPOTTED IN FRANCE”. (Even the DOGS get into the Michelin starred restaurants.)

  22. I just want to say there is zero Federal law prohibiting dogs in resturants. This is state by state. I would love to know if the current health laws on dogs were written prior to 1960 or later. If so it is so out of date. People who want to include Fido in their dining are caring for their animals. 40+ years ago that was not the case and mostly Fido was an outside ornament. One that rarely got bathed or taken to Vet. Dogs DO NOT carry any disease a person can contract. People on the other hand, especially children and infants do. Flu’s, stomach viruses, menegitus, MRSA and so much more. If anything it should be people that are restricted as they are health risk. The state law is outdated and needs to be revised, on all states in