A massive dog — and dog owner — paradise is opening in San Diego

Dogs have plenty of room to run and play outdoors at The Dog Society in San Diego.
(Jarrod Valliere/The San Diego Union-Tribune)

20,000 square foot social hangout features a bar, coffee shop, lawn games and more


San Diego dog owners are getting a sprawling social destination to take their pets — and the spot is unlike any other dog park or party place in the city.

The new 20,000 square-foot business is called The Dog Society and it’s built for the enjoyment of both dogs and their humans.

The indoor space is a vast playground-meets-beer-garden that wraps around the building with putt-putt greens, shuffleboard and other lawn games. The interior is dotted with comfy dog beds and metal clips to attach leashed dogs.

The Dog Society will feature games for children, adults and their pets.
(Jarrod Valliere/The San Diego Union-Tribune)

Owner Sara Broetje said she wanted to create a place near La Mesa where dog lovers, like herself, could bring their pets and hang out. The location, which used to be a furniture store, is at 6331 University Avenue in Rolando Park.

“The nearest dog park is 10 minutes in either direction on the 8, and they’re not much to get excited about,” Broetje said.

The indoor space includes two shipping containers retrofitted into food and beverage spots set amidst a sports bar-like interior with massive televisions, tables and chairs.

There’s a craft beer tap with 12 brews, many of them local IPAs and Mexican lagers, and a coffee shop with espresso drinks, cold brew and kombucha on tap. Small bites like nachos and other bar food will be available, but the menu is still being developed.

Once open, The Dog Society will feature a dog friendly environment with a cafe and beer garden.
(Jarrod Valliere/The San Diego Union-Tribune)

The upper level includes lots of outdoor space, with patios to enjoy food and drinks, along with a massive dog playground with ramps, tires and other equipment.

On a lower level, The Dog Society includes an outdoor beer garden.

Oh, they also serve “dog beer,” which surprisingly is a real thing. (It’s non-alcoholic, uncarbonated and contains only healthy-for-dogs ingredients.)

The Dog Society’s concept is part of a trend sweeping many cities in the United States in which businesses open up to serve the increasingly pet-loving public. In Kansas City, Mo., Bar K is a dog-centric event center, restaurant, bar and dog park. In Asheville, North Carolina, there’s Wagbar, which also features a shipping container turned alcohol bar.

And right here in San Diego, Quartyard on Market Street has a similar appeal, with a stage, drinks and an outdoor dog park. And yes, the bar is also a converted shipping container.

The Dog Society isn’t just a social spot, though. The center offers doggy daycare, grooming, training and boarding.

The underground level of The Dog Society includes vast, well-lit training rooms and plush vacation rooms for dogs whose humans are traveling. Some of the premium boarding rooms come with twin-size beds, flat-screen televisions and aromatherapy for your pooch.

A dog relaxes in the Old Town room at The Dog Society on Monday, June 7, 2021 in San Diego.
(Jarrod Valliere/The San Diego Union-Tribune)

Although anyone can come visit for free for the games, bars and fun, there are monthly memberships for dog owners who wish to bring their pets daily. They range from $475 to $690 a month with various perks. But there are several more affordable options listed on their website, including 12 hours of doggy daycare for $35.

The Dog Society’s dog-only services are open now, and the social spot is expected to open later this month.