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Sunday, September 19, 2021

When reserving an outside table for two in Gainesville, your plus one could be your dog.

The Gainesville City Commission may change a city law to allow dogs to sit with their owners at outdoor tables at restaurants.

Under the change, restaurants will need to apply for a permit from the city to allow dogs in the outside area.

Pet dogs are still not allowed inside restaurants, according to the ordinance change.

Commissioners referred the issue to city staff at Thursday’s meeting, moving the item toward approval.

The Warehouse Restaurant and Lounge Manager Ryan Premdas brought the issue of outdoor “doggie dining” to the commission’s attention during a City Commission meeting in May.

Taylor Bauer, a 25-year-old adoption counselor for the Alachua County Humane Society, said the ordinance could benefit both dogs and their owners.

Dogs would be able to get out of the house while owners enjoy a meal with their companions, she said.

“They enjoy outings just as much as humans,” she said.

Israel Mendez, office manager for The Swamp Restaurant, said he doesn’t have a problem with having dogs in the restaurant’s outdoor area if the ordinance change passes.

“This town and the students are a big pet community,” he said. “I don’t see anything wrong as long as people contain their dogs.”

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