Going to the bar is one of the most fun pastimes around, and one of the oldest as well. Bars were places for weary travelers to stop for a drink of whiskey or ale, have a conversation, and maybe get in a little bit of trouble. Hundreds of years later, it isn't much different for all intents and purposes.
There are certain experiences we come to expect from a bar, both positive and negative. You may meet someone new, and that person could be someone you take home, or they could be someone you get in a fight with. Either way, it is a memorable experience. All for the price of a couple of beers.
One thing you don't expect out of going to a bar is making a furry friend for life. That's usually reserved for a trip to the pound, which can be a very sad environment. That's what Portland is trying to change with a brand new bar that doubles as a dog rescue. You read that right, it's a dog pound bar!
Fido's is a bar in Portland, Oregon, but it's not just any bar. Sure, they serve beer and liquor, but they also serve up something else that's special - rescue dogs. Portland is known for keeping things weird and interesting, but this is a whole other level! You can go to this bar to enjoy a drink and also meet dogs who are in desperate need of a home. Fido's has a separate area in the back with kennel cages, food, and toys for the dogs. They can hold eight dogs at a time, though usually they have about three or four.
When you come to Fido's for some food and drink, you can also play with the dogs, and who knows? Maybe one of them will become your forever friend. That's better than having a one night stand!
You might be thinking that alcohol plus dog rescue is a dangerous mix. A lot of inebriated people might end up with a dog they can't actually take care of, but Fido's has that covered. They make patrons wait three days before taking the dog home, that way there are no bad decisions being made on the spot. Scott Porter is the bar's owner. He was inspired by a cat cafe he went to. They opened in 2018 and have since helped over 70 dogs get rescued.
"Fido's is unique in that it is a craft beer taproom. We focus not only on beer, cider and wine. We primarily focus on charities, dog rescues and helping them to solve the pet population problem." Fido's gets their dogs from Oregon Friends Shelter Animals who get their dogs from kill shelters around central California. They assist with interviews and making sure the dogs find the right home.
While Scott Porter may have business experience, this is a whole new venture for him. Taking care of the business side of things as well as the dogs can prove challenging. "There have been so many challenges with learning the bar business, learning about the charities, the rescues, the behavior of dogs but at the same time just meeting the people, the dogs, the patrons that we have ... how they love dogs is just extremely rewarding."
In the end, it is well worth it. Scott Porter has a deep connection with dogs. "My own dogs helped me through some pretty severe depression. They were extremely loving and attentive to me. And they understood that I was going through some tough times." That connection is the same for others as well, "People often times will step into the room. And they'll get dogs in their arm. And they just break down sobbing because of that connection."