Wag & Brew: Sit-Stay-Play
By Lani Gering
Wag & Brew
Sit – Stay – Play
This is for all of you dog owners and lovers out there. What could be better than letting your pooch run around in a big play room with other canines under the watchful eye of a reputable pet sitter while you have a cold beer, glass of vino or hot cup of fresh brewed coffee or an espresso? Only thing I can think of is if you could do the same thing at a daycare for your human kids but am also thinking that probably isn’t gonna happen….
Anyway, Wag & Brew (W&B) is the place to do exactly what I just described. Owner, dog lover and avid golf enthusiast (he was attending the British Open when I went to do the R&D for this column), Jeff McDonald brought the Wag & Brew concept to Alexandria a little over a year ago.
Billing itself as “a boutique dog care resort inspired to create the best place for pups and people”, W&B has definitely set itself apart from other doggy daycare establishments in the area. While I am not a dog owner, I do have many friends who depend on services such as this as an alternative to having a dog walker so I consulted a few of them – I had to have someone to help compare the benefits. The benefit of a walker is that your pooch gets to stay in their own home but the downside is they are staying alone. At W&B there is always a friend or two to hang with as well as people who LOVE dogs of all sorts. In addition to this, the large play room is climate controlled and full of toys so no worrying about adverse weather conditions. And….last, but certainly not least and maybe the most important part…you can stick around and watch your pooch while you have a cup of coffee or sip on an adult beverage in the lounge that sits adjacent to the large windows where the play area is.
General Manager Tyler Sluman, dedicated dog lover and former professional golfer (you see a common theme here?), gave me a tour of the facility and told me about their philosophy at W&B. It is all about the experience for both animal and owner. From the outside this place is pretty non-descript. It is located in an industrial strip mall behind “Nick’s Bar and Grill” on South Pickett Street in a gray brick building. There are “rules” for signage so they can’t really get creative when it comes to that (notice the exterior photo accompanying this column almost looks like a black and white) but there is ample parking and once you find it, you won’t forget where it is.
After you step inside, you will be pleasantly surprised at what awaits. The foyer looks directly into the play room (very big space) and the lounge is positioned just to the right. It is a nice open space and very tastefully appointed. The play room area is divided into sections – W&B separates the dogs via temperament instead of size – and has a very fun mural that looks like a forest as well as all sorts of toys to climb on and over. It is literally a playground for dogs. The lounge is an inviting space as well. We are talking some nice comfy chairs and a counter with comfortable stools and some themed artwork on the walls. Tyler told me that on the weekends the place gets pretty packed. I seems that at the end of the week when clients pick up their pooches they like to stick around and have a couple of drinks and socialize. This would definitely be a good way to wait out traffic if you worked close by or a great way to spend an afternoon with your dog getting some exercise while you enjoy a beer in a nice climate controlled space – think about how nice that would’ve been when we were experiencing those 100 degree days.
I was also impressed with what goes on “behind the scenes” here at W&B. The dog washing area is pretty impressive – there are some high tech tubs in this place. I also loved it that each “client” has their own bin that holds their things with their names on them. Also important is their feeding area/station. They really pay attention to detail here. (I also want to note that the dogs are let out into a fenced area every 2 hours to “do their thing” since they don’t go on walks.)
This post taken from their website probably says it best: “Our Alexandria day care brings the best in dog care and is custom themed to create a paradise for dogs. Our luxury services are designed to ensure your dog is in a clean, safe, and in a loving environment. Wag & Brew is for dogs, their owners, and puppy lovers. While the pups are getting a much needed grooming, playing in our indoor paradise, staying at our doggy day care/overnight lodging, feel free to stick around at our coffee, wine, and beer Bar. Wag & Brew is a place where you and your pups can sit, stay, and play together!”
For detailed information on their services and rates, log on to their website or give them a call.
“After many failed attempts to find a good doggy day care and boarding facility in the area, we have finally found a great one! Love that our pup has her own private room (no cages), that daycare is INCLUDED in the regular boarding price, and, most importantly, that the staff is actually attentive to the dogs. So wonderful to receive photos and updates during our dog’s stay!”
Bri & Mercy
Wag & Brew
614A South Pickett Street
Mon to Fri 6 AM – 8 PM
Sat 7 AM – 8 PM
Sun 10 AM – 6 PM