NEW YORK - A new cafe on Manhattan's Upper West Side doesn't require you to like coffee but you must love dogs.
Black Lab Cafe caters to both humans and their four-legged friends. The coffee shop is owned by Lise Evans and her two sons, Nik and Kris Powers.
"Dogs have a great way of bringing people together," Kris Powers said. "So it's a perfect way to break the ice and meet new people."
They wanted to create a community space for dog lovers with the family's two black labs, Daisy and Lola, serving as the mascots.
"All dog owners and dog lovers will talk about are their dogs, so it's very social in here," Evans said. "It's a very social and fun place for both of them. And I see that with the dogs that are coming in, that the dogs just feel so happy to be here."
Creating a safe environment was also very important.
Lise Evans (center), her sons Nik Powers (left) and Kris Powers, and the family's two black labs, Daisy and Lola. (Courtesy Photo)
"We have two doors on either side of the cafe," Evans. "So you come in the first door, you have to close it, then go through the next door so that a dog can't run out into the street."
The doors also act as a partition because food can only be enjoyed in the dog section but is not served per the Health Department.
The cafe is a nice place for her and her dog Jerry, customer Jude Rovira said.
"She's a service dog so she comes with me everywhere but when we find a place like this — where the dogs are completely welcome — I don't have any stress about bringing her," Rovira said.
What's on the menu? The gourmet food for dogs is from the family's company Clean Bowl Club NYC. And humans can enjoy caffeinated beverages and a signature blend from Stone Street Coffee Company with more options to come.
"We love the idea of it being a fun, dog-friendly coffee shop by day and then perhaps more of a small dinner plates type wine bar in the evenings," Powers said. "So that's definitely in the works."
Black Lab Cafe | 420 Amsterdam Ave., New York, N.Y. 10024 | 646-343-4089 | blacklabcafe.com