Restaurant News & Reviews

Pub meets pug? Sacramento's new dog hangout will serve booze, coffee and bar food

A mock-up of Mutts & Mugs includes picnic tables, ample green space and food and drinks being served from shipping containers.
A mock-up of Mutts & Mugs includes picnic tables, ample green space and food and drinks being served from shipping containers. Alex Farias

A new business coming to South Land Park will have the "hair of the dog" some might need after a "ruff" Friday night.

Husband-and-wife team Alex Farias and Lauren Valenzuela plan to open Sacramento's first taproom/dog park next spring on a 28,000-square-foot parcel at 6622 Freeport Blvd.

Mutts & Mugs will have eight taps pouring local beers and ciders as well as coffee from The Mill, Farias said. Customers will be able to take their drinks and what Farias called "basket food" into the park area, which will be open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. with night lighting and heaters.

"You go to dog parks today, and before you go there you have to stop and go to Starbucks for juice or coffee or tea," Farias said. "We just thought, 'Let's bring that together.' "

Dogs will have to be leashed while walking through Mutts & Mugs' entryway, which will consist of staffers selling food and drinks out of renovated shipping containers, check-in stations to make sure the animals are spayed or neutered, picnic tables and bathrooms.

Then it's off to the two parks — one for all dogs and another for smaller pups — where attendants will keep an eye out for aggressive behavior and scoop up what the animals leave behind.

Day passes to Mutts & Mugs' parks are $5, or a pack of six passes redeemable any time for $35. Monthly memberships go for $25 plus $5 per additional dog, and annual passes are $135 per year plus $25 per extra pet.

Farias, 36, grew up in the Pocket and graduated from Jesuit High School before attending UC Riverside and earning an MBA from Ithaca College in New York. He and Valenzuela have two dogs, a Jack Russell/Chihuahua mix named Indiana Jones and a Labrador retriever/hound mix named Clara Barton.

The couple checked out hundreds of property sites around the U.S. before deciding on one down the street from Bing Maloney Golf Course, Farias said. Mutts & Mugs will share a parking lot with Friends of Bailee pet groomers, and is using the same landscape architect as midtown's Truitt Bark Park.

A four-acre taproom and dog park called The Hangar opened in South Lake Tahoe in January, the Tahoe Daily Tribune reported. Similar concepts have also popped up in Dallas and Charlotte.

The Bee's Benjy Egel is launching a new effort to cover Sacramento's dining and beer scene. Please send tips and story ideas by email at, on Twitter @BenjyEgel or by phone at (916) 321-1052.

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