Lucky Dog Bark and Brew is a dog day care and boarding facility that doubles as a sports bar with a huge outdoor patio. It’s the creation of Kelly and Randy Waugh, who are opening their second location in the Charlotte area April 1.
Construction is underway on the nearly 19,000-square-foot space at 2220 Thrift Road, in the Wesley Heights neighborhood. The Waughs bought the spot from Paul Summerour, who’d operated a lamp repair shop there for over two decades before moving out in December.
The Waughs are hoping to ride the wave of development along West Morehead Street, where defunct warehouses and vacant lots are making way for funky new establishments like Rhino Market & Deli and Burger Co., which are both right down the street from Lucky Dog.
“It’s much more cleaned up now. I envision this road (Thrift) someday dotted with condos and restaurants,” says Randy Waugh.
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They also liked how the Wesley Heights location, about five minutes from uptown Charlotte, is convenient for travelers with dogs – it’s about an 11-minute drive from Charlotte Douglas, and it’s also just up the street from an Interstate 277 exit.
Lucky Dog sounds like a place intended for dogs but with a bar to keep owners busy. That makes sense, since it’s how the Waughs came up with their original concept in Cornelius. The couple has four dogs – two pugs, a black lab mix and a boxer mix – they would take to the dog park every Sunday before opening their first Lucky Dog in 2012.
“We thought, if we could watch sports here, we’d stay all day,” Randy Waugh says.
Lucky Dog joins the ranks of dog-friendly drinking establishments in Charlotte like The Dog Bar, Sycamore Brewing, Triple C Brewing and Jack Beagle’s.
The new Lucky Dog boasts separate rubber-floored indoor areas and fenced-in outdoor play areas for big and small dogs, who must be spayed or neutered and up to date on their shots. It’ll eventually have capacity to board up to 100 dogs, the Waughs say. It will offer bathing services, but no grooming.
And for humans, it will also have an expansive indoor/outdoor bar area with high-top tables and about 16 televisions for college and pro sports.
Lucky Dog will have a really strong “Panthers vibe,” Randy Waugh says. The Waughs are Panthers season ticket holders who recently returned from a long weekend in northern California for the Super Bowl.
The bar will have 20 taps with a few “mainstay” beers like Bud Light, with the rest comprising local craft beers from breweries like NoDa, Triple C and Birdsong. There won’t be food available at the bar, but the Waughs are working with area food trucks to have them stop out front. Guests can also bring their own food.
Lucky Dog also will have a strict 21-and-over rule, so no kids. “I could never live if a kid gets hurt here,” Kelly Waugh says.
Rather, it’s “a place to chill and enjoy the game with your best friend, your dog,” Randy Waugh says.
The two hope the new Charlotte location will garner the loyal following of “regulars” the Cornelius location has. Like the Cornelius location, it’ll have event space available for lease, and it will host events benefiting area dog rescues.