We’ve heard of cat cafes before, but there is one couple from the Greater Manchester area that has come up with a wonderful idea for a dog cafe. And their vision includes a dog-friendly beach with plenty of rescue dogs looking for a home. Tony and Tania Golden are the former owners of the Central Bark Cafe, and now they’re running Alfie’s Island Cafe – a 22-acre location in Timperley. And we have to say, it looks every bit amazing!
According to UNILAD, the couple has already stated that they want Alfie’s Island Cafe to be “a focal point for the community” regardless of whether or not someone has a dog of their own or not.
The couple petitioned the Trafford Council for permission to go ahead with their plans, citing that they were wishing to bring back a sense of community through different avenues such as “dog care, sports, family recreation, and exercise.”
The couple has called Manor Farm home for about six years. When they first moved in, they noted that it was very much a fixer-upper, as it hadn’t been properly cared for in a long time. Since moving in, they’ve turned it around and given it the facelift it deserves. In addition, the Goldens have felt it was their duty to make Manor Farm a place that was “enjoyable to all.” The couple has been there since 2014, and they have run a doggie daycare as well as a pet boarding service on their property. But now they are looking to expand their site even further by moving their Wythenshawe-based The Beach Dog Cafe there as well.
Those who frequent the cafe will also be able to order food and drinks while getting to play with both the onsite rescue dogs, as well as the daycare dogs. Both Tony and Tania are originally from the US, so it’s only fitting that their cafe’s menu will be featuring American-inspired cuisines, such as gourmet hot dogs, burgers, paninis, seafood, and pancakes. There will also be a kid’s menu available as well. In terms of drinks, they’re looking to serve a selection of smoothies, shakes, beers, and wines. And of course, the four-legged clientele haven’t been overlooked either as there will be a wide selection of baked goodies specifically for dogs.
The Goldens have been working with Starlight Barking Trust in order to bring rescue dogs from Greece to the UK, where they are then adopted out to their forever homes. It is quite important rescue work since Greece isn’t really set up with animal charities or organizations that care for stray animals. In fact, the couple’s dog, a golden retriever named Alfie, actually came to them as a stray dog rescued from Greece. The couple shared that for the first couple of months that he was living in the UK, Alfie could only understand commands given to him in Greek.
Given how much they love their dog, it’s a small wonder that the couple was inspired by Alfie to open up their island dog cafe. It’s a place that the couple hopes will bring only good things for the rescue dogs. Tony shared with the Manchester Evening News that the rescue dogs seem much happier in the relaxed, cafe setting as opposed to a more traditional shelter with kennels. He further added that the whole point of the cafe is to showcase the dogs’ personalities in as relaxed an environment as possible in order to facilitate adoptions.
As Tony explained, “We do really look at things from a scientific side – it’s not just about making a play area that looks pretty. A lot of dogs will freak out in a kind of warehouse setting, it can mess with their personality. They’re so much happier here.”
The dogs who will be coming to the cafe as rescues will be properly socialized before they start meeting with members of the public. Then, when they’re ready to begin the search for their forever homes, they will be wearing specially-colored bandanas that will alert people to the fact that they’re looking to be adopted. Anyone interested will then be able to inquire about a dog they’re interested in. The dogs will be allowed to freely move about the cafe, interacting with people and making it easier for those looking to potentially adopt to get to know the dogs. There will even be a specially dedicated meet-and-greet area for some one-on-one time!
But it’s not just about getting dogs adopted, the Goldens really do want to facilitate a sense of community. That is why when they get the cafe up and running there will be an array of events hosted at the place, including outdoor movie screenings. While it is still in the works, there is no doubt that the public is already awaiting its opening with lots of anticipation!
Anastasia is an American writer and journalist living in Dublin, Ireland. Her Twitter is @AnastasiaArell5.
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