GREENWICH, Conn. -- Both humans and dogs who are looking to socialize and make new friends can now do so at the new Bark Bar at Raleigh & Co. in Greenwich.
The Bark Bar will be open on the first Thursday of every month from 5 to 6 p.m.
The owners of Raleigh & Co., which sells high-end pet products, hope the Bark Bar will become a place where dogs and their owners can mingle and make new friends.
"Our goal is to provide a space where customers can meet and socialize with other pet lovers and their dogs," said Greenwich resident Betsy Kaminski, who owns the business with her wife, Diane Galt. "We want our shop to feel like a neighborhood gathering place where people go not only to shop, but also to meet their neighbors or get pet-related information."
At the Bark Bar, light refreshments will be served. This month, the store will celebrate its one-year anniversary. The menu will include tomato and mozzarella bites, cucumber caviar rounds, cheese, nuts, fruit, mini cupcakes and fresh-baked pumpkin bread.
Beverages will include sparkling water, wine and champagne for adults, as well as juice for kids.
For dogs, they'll be free samples of the biscuits at the treat bar.
Also, all dogs must be leashed while at the Bark Bar.
Kaminski said they opened the store because they felt there was a need for it. "We are two dog-lovers who created the kind of store where we always wanted to shop for our own dog -- a place where you can find high-quality, well-designed products and knowledgeable customer service to help you find the right item for your pet," she said.
The store features items that help to integrate pets’ needs with humans’ lifestyles. "For example, we sell custom dog beds that match your home décor and personal style," she said.
Raleigh & Co. also focuses on products that help pets get exercise and stimulation. "We have interactive puzzle toys that mentally challenge dogs and keep them from getting bored.
"We also have home agility equipment that can help dogs get enough exercise, even in small spaces," she said.
Also available are balance pads, which help dogs improve their core strength.
All of the dog treats that Raleigh & Co. sells are wheat-free and made in the United States. Some of the treats use organic or human-grade ingredients, and others are suitable for dogs on special diets.
Though dog lovers are their main customers, they also offer products for feline-lovers such as modern-design cat furniture.
Before opening the store, Kaminski was a college professor who taught sociology at Central Connecticut State University in New Britain. Galt currently works as the director of operations at the Yale School of Drama.
The owners developed the idea for opening Raleigh & Co. while caring for dog Raleigh, who passed away in May.
"When Raleigh got older, he experienced a few health problems. From talking with specialists to find the best ways to care for him, we learned there are lots of great and innovative products for pet wellness," Kaminski said. "So, our store focuses on these types of products that reflect the latest innovations in pet wellness."
Another unique aspect of the store is that it has a physical location.
"We think it’s nice in an age when people shop online so much, to have an actual bricks-and-mortar store in your neighborhood," she said. "This is a place where people can take their dogs in order to find the right size collar or harness or can ask a question or actually touch and feel the merchandise in order to get a sense of the quality."
Raleigh & Co. is at 209 Bruce Park Ave. in Greenwich.