Bark, the company behind the BarkBox subscription for dog treats and toys, is planning to open what it calls its first BarkPark in Nashville.
It sounds like the goal is to create a space that combines a dog park with a coffee shop or other hangout spot for humans.
“I was out with friends, we’re drinking wine, it’s a really cool restaurant … it was like a poster for people having a good time in the city,” said Bark co-founder Henrik Werdelin said in a company blog post. “But my dog Molly was left out. And I realized: she deserves a space like this. We should be here together.”
At BarkPark, dogs will be able to play off-leash, and also try out Bark toys and treats (a selection will also be available for purchase). Their owners, meanwhile, will get free WiFi, access to a little coffee shop and the ability to ask questions of Bark staff.
Plus, both the dog and their owners will be able to attend weekly dog-friendly programming, like live music and beer tastings.
Day passes cost $19, and you can also buy four-week ($49) or seasonal ($78) passes. The memberships are designed to be dog-centric — while you (the human) will presumably be paying the bill, your dog is the actual BarkPark member, and can be accompanied by any two humans. So if you’re out of town, you don’t need to worry about getting access for, say, your dogwalker or dogsitter.
Bark is currently building out the Nashville BarkPark location (which is why all the illustrations in this story are either renderings or sketches), with plans to open on September 8. And while the company is treating this as a three-month pop up initially, with BarkPark closing for the winter on November 18, the idea could be extended in Nashville and expanded elsewhere.
Why start in Nashville? While the city has many virtues, Bark said it was ultimately because it’s “ahead of the curve” as a pet-friendly city.
“There’s a fast-growing population of modern dog parents who want to take their dogs everywhere – they’re totally obsessed! – which perfectly describes our vision for BarkPark’s membership,” the company said.