The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

SMU professor Susanne Scholz in the West Bank in 2018.
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Mutts Quickly Rising in Popularity

In Dallas, you
can drive up and down streets like SMU Boulevard and Mockingbird Lane to find a fun bar or hang out spot to enjoy some drinks and cuisine with
friends, family and acquaintances.
Bars near the Southern Methodist University campus such as Barley House,
Milo Butterfingers, and the Green Elephant are well-known, popular destinations
for SMU students and residents of Dallas on the weekends.

For those students and Dallas residents with dogs, however, it can be hard to find a pet-friendly spot with convenient hours of operation. Before June, It was even harder to find a dog park or recreational places for one to take their friendly canine companion to get some fresh air and exercise.

On June 19, however, Mutts Canine Cantina, an outdoor bar and private dog park in Uptown, opened up and has quickly become a premiere destination for dog owners to take their dogs for some fun in the sun. Seven days a week, between 7 a.m. and 11 p.m., dog owners from all over Dallas County can leave their canines in the fenced-off dog parks with park attendants and head back to the patio where they can enjoy drinks and some of the best burgers in town.

Mutts, which has one park for dogs under 30 pounds and one park for dogs more than 30 pounds, also has a spacious patio filled with tables where patrons drink and socialize while still keeping an eye on their dogs.

Since its opening, Mutts has tried to bring in customers not just from near by but from all over. General Manager Stefanie Carrillo has been pleased with how Mutts has been able to serve the community that surrounds the park and the “dog-lover” community.

“Mutts is really just about bringing the community together,” Carrillo explained. “It’s right in the heart of Dallas, and you’ve got people coming from Uptown, Downtown, Irving and Denton just because this hasn’t been done before. It’s really a huge attraction.”

In order to use the park, you must purchase either a day pass for $4.95 or the monthly pass, which is $9.95. While there are other parks that do not have a monthly membership, Wyatt Mesh, an Uptown resident and proud owner of Bauer the Boxer, believes that the small monthly charge is worth it.

“Since most people who go there live in apartments around the area, it allows their pets to run around as if it was their own backyard,” Mesh said. “To me, $10 a month for an entire backyard is worth it.”

Customers who pay for their membership get access to the parks and a water source for their dog. The food and drink services, however, are open to anyone and customers are encouraged to try the Mutts Burger, which was recently nominated for best burger in Dallas by Zagat.

Darren Rosenberg, an SMU student and new dog owner, loves the fact that Mutts can help him kill two or three birds with one stone.

“Before I knew about Mutts, since I have to take care of my dog, Lilly, by myself, it wasn’t easy for me to get her to the dog park when I have homework and need to get dinner myself,” Rosenberg said. “Once I found out about Mutts it made things a lot easier. I can take Lilly and put her in the park and then I can grab food from the bar and even do homework if I’m in a big crunch [for time].”

Not only is Mutts known for their delicious burgers, but customers have also raved about the quality of drinks at the bar.

“The margarita is definitely also one of our big sellers,” Kelley Campbell, a bartender and manager, said. “People know us by our burgers and I think they’re also starting to know us by our margaritas.”

Now, nearly 6 months after opening, Mutts has become one of the favorite dog parks around Dallas, but it wasn’t before some kinks had to be worked out.

When the dog park and bar first opened, it was during the hot months of summer in Dallas and Mutts found out quickly it had not prepared for the heat properly.

“It was a little rough at first,” Campbell explained.You can imagine how hot it was in June with the Texas heat, so not having any fans or misters was a mistake on our part. We fixed that and now we have heaters for the winter, so we’ve really come around.”

Customers have also expressed concern with the interactions between dogs in the park, but Carrillo points out that they have taken steps to keep every single dog safe while they are on the premises.

“Owners can go in with their dogs, so they can take a seat in the lawn chairs we’ve provided and keep an eye on their own pet if they want to,” Carrillo said. “Customers can also come back to the patio if they’d like because we’ve got staff members monitoring the playfulness levels of the dogs.”

Mutts has hit some bumps along the road, but they have taken the necessary steps to improve some of their early mistakes. Carrillo and Campbell feel confident that from here on out, the dog park and bar will only continue to grow.

“We’re obviously open to any customer suggestions because this place is here for them,” Carrillo said. “We just want to give them another option that’s different then a regular park. They don’t have to go to another dog park. They can try something new.”

Dog owners can choose to sit at picnic tables with their canine companion or enjoy a nice drink from the bar while their furry friend runs in the park.

BIO: Scott Sanford is a junior journalism major, sports management minor and staff writer for He can be reached at [email protected]

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