OVIEDO, Fla. – The city of Oviedo just voted to allow dining with dogs, and some restaurants said it has already been good for their bottom line.
At Rock & Brews on Red Bug Lake Road, there's no need for a doggy bag. It's been open seating for doggy dining since they opened. And they've turned dining al fresco with Fido into a money-maker.
"I can definitely say it is," said Ben Krause, Rock & Brew's bar manager. "Also, we have our own dog menu that allows us to create a unique take on dog food that we actually prepare fresh here in the restaurant."
A lot of restaurants, like Tijuana Flats, already allowed dogs on their patios.
Under pressure to regulate after health inspections, Oviedo just joined a growing list of cities officially giving dogs the OK, said Oviedo City Manager Bryann Cobb.
However, dogs will only be allowed on patios. Restaurants will need permits that will renew each year, and there are new rules to keep dogs and diners safe.
Two years ago, a pit bull bit a waitress at an Oviedo steakhouse. Cobb said that case did not influence the new rules.
In fact, in Seminole County, similar rules have already been in place for a while with few problems.
"(There are) zero issues, thankfully. And the reality is, it just makes people happy," said Krause. "It's just a no-brainer to me. If you're going to be family-oriented, why not let the whole family come out to have lunch at your place?"
Soon, diners may have more options for a meal with man's best friend.