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Live From America’s First Dog Cafe, Right in the Heart of Los Angeles

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On the scene, with puppies in tow

The Dog Cafe, Los Angeles
The Dog Cafe, Los Angeles
Wonho Frank Lee
Farley Elliott is the Senior Editor at Eater LA and the author of Los Angeles Street Food: A History From Tamaleros to Taco Trucks. He covers restaurants in every form, from breaking news to the culture, people, and history that surrounds LA's dining landscape.

Though it’s not technically open for full-scale business yet, you could well wander into The Dog Cafe on the intersection of Virgil and Silver Lake Blvd in Los Angeles right now, petting your way from the front of the room to the back before finding a seat. The corner cafe location is still in soft open mode, which means the cafe side of things hasn’t been fully realized just yet. But the important part — the puppies — are in full effect.

For $10, guests earn a 55-minute block of time with a room full of curious and casual pups, some truly still youngsters and others nearing the later stages of life. All are up for adoption though, and you can see the ever-changing roster of adorable dogs for yourself on the cafe’s website. The popular pick right now? Biggie, a youthful Border Collie/German Shepherd mix who’s rocking a cone following a recent surgery.

The dog hangout space is no more or less bare bones than some of the city’s most hipster-y shops, which makes it a fine destination for anyone needing an afternoon cup of joe with a side of doggy goodness. It’s best not to expect to actually get any work done here, though — they don’t have Wifi anyway.

Here's a live Snapchat (EaterLosAngeles) of the Dog Cafe (with a little intro from nearby SQIRL):

A week from tomorrow the cafe side of this charity operation will open, selling a more extensive line-up of drinks for customers. You’ll have to reserve a spot online at that point too, but for now there’s a simple drip coffee setup at a table in one corner. The cost is $10 a head (technically for access to dogs and free coffee), and will earn you one the nearly hourlong session plus one beverage of your choice. You’ll have to sign a waiver too, but that’s just to make sure you (and the pups) stay safe.

Current soft-open hours for the Dog Cafe run 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Wednesday through Sunday. It’s walk-in only at the moment, with reservations to come following the big grand opening party on April 7.

The Dog Cafe
240 N. Virgil Ave. #13Los Angeles, CA