As any dog owner will only be too quick to tell you, attempting to enjoy an afternoon coffee in a café while in the company of man’s best friend can be really annoying. Most establishments pretty much write dogs off as barking, boisterous nuisances that are bound to disturb the surroundings in their vicinity. Unfortunately this doesn’t bode well for anyone wishing to take out their beloved pooch for a treat while in the centre of town.
Enter Chubby Chops Café, Brighton’s first dog friendly (pop-up) café located in the centre of the Lanes (Brighton Square). Chubby Chops particularly caters to the needs of canines accompanying their owners, with their own menu, with a variety of snacks and treats and a mini dog boutique. The dogs also have their own play area, where they are able to socialise with each other, play with toys provided for them or even have a snooze in one of the doggy beds.
Opened 6 weeks ago by co-owners Joel Ariaman and partner Alex Ziembinska the idea originated after the couple discovered that many venues in Brighton would not allow their French bulldog puppy Bonnie inside.
The café does not just limit itself to people with dogs, but anyone who is generally dog friendly. The menu has a wide range of food and drink suitable for vegetarians and vegans, and also an organic selection.
Speaking on the reaction to the opening of Chubby Chops, Mr Ariaman said “It’s early days, but so far we haven’t had any negative feedback. We’ve actually had a few people take pictures of the cafe from outside.”
He added: “On weekends we tend to get pretty busy, with up to as many as 12 dogs in here, but there’s never any fights or growling, everyone seems to get on really well”.
The café aims to bring humans and dogs together, even if they do not own one themselves, with books on different breeds of dogs scattered around and treats placed on each table. While relatively small, Chubby Chops has a unique feel to it, accompanied by a sense of welcoming when you step inside, whether you walk on 2 legs or 4.
Ideally, it is also placed 20 seconds away from a doggy boutique, so there is an opportunity for your faithful pet to have a makeover before tucking into a variety of treats, including Bonnie’s Banana Biscuits, sunflower seeds and dog-chocolate brownies.
The success of Chubby Chops is now hoping to expand, with Mr Ariaman and Ms Ziembinska looking to open up a branch in Hove at the end of summer, and are hoping to extend their franchise to London in the near future.
With the first of its kind sitting prominently in the heart of Brighton, Chubby Chops may well be the catalyst of a future where pets are able to enjoy themselves out on the town, as opposed to being cooped up indoors all day, we can only hope there’s room for a cat restaurant and bird bar.
16 Brighton Square