SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Woof's Bar is tucked in on The Alameda right near the campus of Santa Clara University.
Mary and her dog, Domino, said, "(We) saw it walking by on our walks and my kids were like, ‘oh is that a place for dogs or a place for people?’"
It turned out this is a place for both.
Owner Joanne Liu said Woof's Bar was formed when three people came together. One loved milk tea, one loved boba, another wanted to open a bar. Bringing in animals to the mix just made sense.
"One of the partners, she came up with the idea,' said Liu, "because she and I are both dog lovers. She had three dogs and back then I had three dogs."
She said the new venture needed to give her more quality time with her dogs. "I wanted to spend more time with my pets," said Liu, "because I used to be very busy. So we said, 'okay, why don't we open up something like this.'"
Woof's bar opened up just months before the pandemic hit and after a slower soft opening, the grand opening was a huge success.
"The grand opening day," Liu remembered, "people were lined up and packed inside the store and ever since then, the timeline lined up. We were going to have the liquor license and start doing the alcohol in March to April timeframe to go along with the spring and summer frame, and then the pandemic happened."
That changed everything.
Coming back has been hard but Liu believed they are mixing up the right ingredients to get people in these doors.
First, there is the boba. Boba is also known as bubble tea, it is an Asian tea based drink that has been around for decades, but has recently gotten more popular.
Woof's bar has designed its menu to be a little less traditional to help ease people into a love of boba.
"That's why we use fresh fruit," explained Liu, "we don't use powder. We only use real sugar and real fruit so we make it made-to-order. That is why it is fresher than other drinks."
What they make is a bit a hybrid.
"Our drink is more like Jamba Juice and a classic boba tea combination," said Liu.
There is also the dogs. Woof's bar takes pet friendly to the next level. The owners said dogs can do more than hang out, they can get comfortable.
"I personally rescue animals," said Liu. "We also want to promote the message, 'adopt don't shop' and help more animals get adopted."
Adoption events are in a post-pandemic future but Lui said they did get a little glimpse pre-pandemic of how much dogs and their owners liked being welcomed in, saying the shop was like a dog park during the weekends.
Woof's Bar was designed to be Instagrammable.
Liu said they invited Instagrammers in when they opened up the back. "They would stay here for at least a couple of hours and take photos," said Liu.
There are lots of options, from swings, to cubbies and coves, high backed chairs and even neon wings.
The future holds a lot of plans. DJ's on Saturday nights, adoption events and if all goes as planned, a liquor license that will allow for boba cocktails.
During this pandemic, these fun photo spots have been off limits to the public. But they are back open for you and your four legged friend on Aug. 15.