We are Anushka, James and Bertie the Pug and together we are Pug Cafe™️.
For the last few years we’ve been busy hosting events for dogs, dog owners and dog lovers alike. If you have a dog or you just love them – we promise, this is your jam.
Scroll down if you want to get straight to what Pug Cafe is about, but if you’re interested in how it all began stick with us…
In 2017 after we brought Bertie home, he was paralysed suddenly overnight and was soon diagnosed with Hemivertebrae. He undertook life-saving surgery at The Supervet and although he was given a second chance at life, he was crate-bound for much of his recovery meaning he missed out on important socialisation.
When Bertie was well enough to go for walks, we set up a local pug meet up so that he could meet and play with other dogs – Bertie flourished. We vowed to make sure he would never miss out on anything, see him below as a Puggerfly – living his best life!
Soon after growing this community of pug owners we decided to take the meet up indoors to our local cafe in Guildford and there Pug Cafe was born.
Our first event was incredibly popular, Bertie and pugs from around the UK all enjoyed a unique cafe experience, playing off lead and socialising in a safe space. The pug owners and dog lovers all loved being around their favourite little dogs. It was the most joyful and fun day we ever did experience so we decided to spread the love far and wide…
You can buy our recently published book Happy Dog Days at the Pug Cafe to read the true-life tail about how we set Pug Cafe up – it’s funny, heart-warming and the perfect book to cosy up with your dog and a cup of tea.
So, what is Pug Cafe?
Pug Cafe is now a successful dog events company and we organise breed specific events including pop up cafes, discos and parties across the UK. We are on a mission to share our cafe experiences and canine social events with every dog and every breed in the world. Pedigree or mixed breed, small or large – every dog deserves a pupuccino!
Our events are for dogs, dog owners and dog lovers alike and we are proud to be part of a growing movement of sharing social experiences with our furry companions & friends.
So what exactly do we do? Well, Pug Cafe transforms beautiful cafes, bars and restaurants into venues for dogs for the day. There are dedicated dog menus, pooch-sized photo opportunities, pupuccinos, and the dogs can play off lead in a safe space – the perfect place for your dog to socialise and the ultimate doggy day out.
Why are events so popular?
Dogs are incredibly sociable creatures by nature, they’re pack animals so they’re well adapted to living, playing and socialising in groups together. We believe it’s important to keep socialising your dog and so that’s why all our events are off lead – it’s their time to play, make friends and explore.
We have a saying here… if the dogs are happy, everyone is happy!
The reason breed specific events work so well is that different dog breeds have their own personality traits, quirks and social norms. In a similar way to how birds of a feather flock together we find dogs are happiest when surrounded by their own kin (you can read more about our thoughts about this at The Telegraph).
For dog owners, you can enjoy a fun cafe experience with your dog. Not only can you tuck into a delicious meal, cocktails or coffee drinks, but also mingle and get to know like-minded people – it’s an incredibly fun social experience for both you and your dog.
Dog lovers are also welcome at events so if you don’t have your own pet, it’s a chance for you to enjoy the unique and memorable experience of meeting lots of your favourite type of dogs all in the same room, enjoy plenty of doggy cuddles and learn first hand about the breed. We’ve seen thousands of dog lovers attend our events!
Pug Cafe events are famously known for our uplifting, exciting atmosphere (it’s big news when we announce our next location!) and this is because we actively encourage people to socialise, make friends and really enjoy your time with us. We also provide you with a way to stay connected with your new friends after events.
It’s a growing community, too.
We have grown several breed specific online communities where owners and dog lovers alike can share photos and videos of events, post adorable photos of your dog, ask questions and share valuable information about the breed, and celebrate what unites you. Pug Cafe helps you make online connections and also real world friendships.
To join one of our communities just head over to our Social page and choose your breed!
Events under the Pug Cafe umbrella include our hero events Pug Cafe, Dachshund Cafe Frenchie Cafe, Cockapoo Cafe, Doodle Disco & Dachshund Disco. We host events for all these breeds as well Pomeranians, Chihuahuas and more.
We have been touring the UK with our events and have been to every major city in the country. We love hosting events, from our classic breed specific cafe experiences to our legendary Halloween parties and collaborations with brands such as Universal Pictures and Disney – we know how to throw a party like no other!
Handling Covid-19. What now?
In early 2020 Pug Cafe was in a great place, we hosted our first event for pugs in Essex, we launched Dachshund Disco and we we’re starting to spread the magic to bigger dogs too!
But, on March 17th Covid-19 turned our world upside down. The business we worked so hard to grow came to a literal standstill and like the rest of the world we put our business and lives on hold so we could stay home, protect the NHS and help save lives.
Like many people working in hospitality and events it’s been a tough year but we are feeling oh so paw-sitive about the future and will return to IRL events in Summer 2021. Check out our upcoming events now!
During lockdown we found joy in hosting virtual events and we brought together pups from around the world for Zoom events including Virtual Pug Cafe, Virtual Dachshund Disco and even a Virtual Wellness Weekend (with Doga & Doggy Rave!). Over 1 million people tuned into watch our LIVE events online and we even made headlines in New York, but when lockdown eased we said goodbye to our online world with a Virtual Wonderland Party.
When restrictions lifted we were excited but apprehensive. Where did this leave us? Some of the cafes and bars we work with have re-opened, but they must stick to new government safety measures. Unfortunately, we still don’t think it’s safe for us to host our ‘normal’ events as we are all about socialisation and lots of contact.
Like so many, we were feeling lost. But we put out heads together, brainstormed ideas and tried to find a way to pivot. We needed a Plan B (or Plan C or Plan D or Plan Z). And so we decided to take everything we once knew and turn it on it’s head…
Introducing – Pop + Bark
We are taking the most loved element of our events and – quite literally – rolling with it! Because Pupuccinos are so popular with all the dog breeds we meet and so integral to what we do, we have launched our outdoor concept: Pop + Bark the mobile pupuccino bar.
Over the Summer we visited Dogstival, Paws in the Park and even hosted our first outdoor Dog Cafe at The Oracle in Reading and Westquay in Southampton. Serving up delicious pupuccinos to all and providing a safe and enjoyable outdoor experience!
Pop + Bark serves up new and improved pupuccinos where you’ll be able to pick your toppings for your dog (including popcorn crumbles and carob flake!) and treat your little furry bestie. They kept us going through lockdown, it’s time to truly spoil them!
We also serve up extra treats to buy too. So grab a takeaway coffee and a cake from your nearest coffee shop for you, head to Pop + Bark and we’ll make sure your dog is covered. As we’ll always make a song and a dance of where we are headed to next, you may even meet some friendly dogs and owners there too.
We are all about sharing experiences with you dog and making doggy friends, and this is our way of keeping that magic alive! We’ll be rolling out the Pop + Bark Pupuccino Bar to all our indoor and outdoor events.