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Sunday, April 29, 2001

Cafe society goes to the dogs

Staff writer

Everyone has seen dogs sitting forlornly outside shops, tied to a railing, waiting for their owners. Not only are the pets unhappy, but how many owners have been distracted from their shopping or meals by guilty thoughts of their lonely pets waiting outside?

Sachiko Ishihara and her dogs at Sabby Genteel in Tokyo

What dog owner hasn't dreamed of taking their dog anywhere life's path leads them? Or failing that, at least anywhere Saturday's shopping and cafe-hopping path takes them. But, alas, many restaurants and shops are off-limits to pets.

"It cannot be helped. There are people who really hate dogs. Some even call the public heath department if they see dogs around [at eateries] saying it is insanitary," says Sachiko Ishihara, owner of interior goods store Sabby Genteel in Tokyo's Daikanyama district.

Ishihara, who opened the store 18 years ago, added a small cafe three years ago. People walking past see Ishihara's two dogs (8-month-old miniature schnauzers) inside and know they can bring theirs in, too. It's the answer to dog owners' dreams: Enjoy shopping without leaving Fido outside. Even better, at Sabby Genteel, pets and their owners can drink together at the cafe.

Sabby Genteel isn't as unique as you might think. More and more cafes and restaurants with outdoor terraces allow pets, so even if you don't see a sign it's worth asking whether or not pets are allowed.

Here are some of the places you can go with your dogs: Hearty: Restaurant, 11-12 Daikanyama-cho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo; (03) 3461-8989. First floor of Nisshin Hills Daikanyama. Open 11:45 a.m.-11:30 p.m.; closed Monday. Dogs welcome inside. Gazebo: Open cafe, 1-33-15 Ebisu Nishi, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo; (03) 3461-4348. Open daily, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Dogs are allowed only in the terrace area. Milk for dogs is 50 yen. Sabby Genteel: Interior shop with a small cafe area, 3-9 Sarugaku-cho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo; (03) 3461-5029. Open noon-8 p.m. Monday through Friday, 11 a.m.-8 p.m. on Saturday and 11 a.m.-7 p.m. on Sunday and holidays. Manoa Valley: Coffee shop and cafe, 2-44-7 Shimouma, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo; (03) 3410-8631. Open 4 p.m.-midnight Tuesday through Friday, noon-8 p.m. on Saturday, Sunday and holidays; closed Monday. You can take your dogs inside. Milk for dogs is 200 yen (small) and 300 yen (medium); dog cookies are 50 yen. Fungo: Sandwich bar/cafe, 1-40-10 Shimouma, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo; (03) 3795-1144. Open 11 a.m.-midnight Sunday through Thursday, till 5 a.m. Friday and Saturday. Dogs are allowed only in the terrace area. Printemps: Cafe, 4-4-1 Tenjinbashi, Kita-ku, Osaka; (06) 6358-3106. Open 8 a.m.-10 p.m.; closed Sunday and holidays. Dogs are allowed in the tiled area indoors. Water and milk for dogs is available. B.Y.O. Club Stand-By: Bar, 2-47 Hinodemachi, Toyonaka-shi, Osaka; (06) 6332-9989. Open 6 p.m.-midnight; closed Sunday and holidays. Dogs are allowed inside. Dog Cafe: Cafe and interior shop, 3-10-12 Nakayamate-dori, Chuo-ku, Kobe; (078) 231-3961. Open 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; closed third Monday of the month.

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