Day 6 We get lucky in North Carolina on The Red Roof Road Trip: Welcome to The Lucky Dog Bark and Brew

Luck dog bar 3The Lucky Dog Bark and Brew is where everyone knows your dog’s name – that’s how they sell it in Cornelius, North Carolina. The idea is as appealing as it sounds.

The Lucky Dog at 19607 Statesville Road, isn’t a bar you can take your dog. It’s an indoor and outdoor dog park where your dog can take you – to sit with a beer while he frolics in the leash-free zone dog patio checking out the climbing toys and other buddies … when they are there.

Unfortunately, the Sunday night when Victor and I visited (it’s open until 10 pm), my 12-year-old schnoodle was the only dog there. But that didn’t stop me from ordering a local pear-flavoured brew on tap and saddling up to a bar table while Victor ran free, peeing in every corner of the mostly cement outdoor dog patio.

Lucky Dog bar1

Despite our private initiation, it’s still one of my favourite dog-friendly spots we discovered on our Red Roof Road Trip with the dog, five states and counting. In Cornelius, we’re visiting friends so Victor gets to chill in a house for a few days. The Lucky Dog, serving the Lake Norman community, is known among dog owners so I didn’t need to look up directions.

A clever concept, The Lucky Dog grew out of dog parent guilt. “The owners Kelly and Randy Waugh are huge North Carolina Panther fans,” says manager Destiny Bonace who’s been the marketing and special events coordinator at the Cornelius location since it opened in August 2012.

“They’d go to a game, or go out to watch the game, but always ended up leaving early to go home and check on the dogs. That’s when it occurred to them, there needs to be a place you can watch the game with your dog.”

Lucky Dog Bark and Brew sports bar was born.

After the bar was open and established, a doggie daycare, overnight kennel and bath services were added. According to Bonace, there are 92 kennels on site and demand for daycare and overnight boarding is about equal.

Luck Dog bar2

“During the day,” she says, “the dogs are rotated out, some resting, and some playing in both the indoor and outdoor dog play areas.” The dogs are evaluated before they can be in playgroups. Daycare drop off starts at 7 am and ends as late as 9 pm. Dogs are grouped into big and little and there’s about ten at a time per group.

Because the entire facility is used during the day for regular customers, the bar doesn’t open until after 5 pm on weekdays and is open Saturday and Sunday, noon to 10 pm.

Visiting the area? You can drop by and hang out when the bar is open – sign in as a guest at the door, head to the outdoor bar (unless it’s raining then stay inside, but it’s a little stinky when I was there. However, they’ve assured me renovations have since changed that). You can get a beer, watch the game on screens behind the bar and keep an eye on your dog from either spot. Or sit outside at a picnic table among the dogs.

Only fixed and vaccinated dogs allowed, of course.

Also, it’s a bar for fur babies but not human ones – no one under the age of 21 is allowed (a bonus in my world). There’s also no food prepared on site for obvious reasons, but food trucks pull up in the parking lot every Friday.lucky dog 4

If you’re in the neighbourhood, checkout the newest location in Charlotte, North Carolina at 2220 Thrift Road that opened on April, 2016. They’re working on franchising too, if you’re interested.

Where else did we go on The Red Roof Road Trip with the Dog?
Glad you asked. Check out Travel Kentucky: Dog Devotion at the Shaker Village Red Roof Road Trip Day 3 and Travel Lexington, KY: Dog Daze at The Kentucky Horse Park RR Road Trip Day 2

Thanks to Red Roof Inn, where pets stay at no charge, for providing accommodations during our journey. Use VIP code 621277 until Sept. 30, 2016 for 15% off)


  1. […] Victor and I found such a place on a road trip through North Carolina – check it out – called Lucky Dog Bark and Brew. […]

  2. Wow, that place looks awesome! I’m from North Carolina (born and raised) and I’d never heard of Cornelius until this post. 🙂 Of course, when you mentioned Lake Norman, I knew it was in the general Charlotte area. Maybe one day I’ll be travelling through that way with dogs…wish something like it was near me!

    1. I was out there because a friend of 30 years moved there. I think Cornelius is essentially a new development that’s grown up around the lake. Not far from Charlotte.

  3. Too cool! This is in line with our blog (A Dog Walks into a Bar) so I’m so glad you were able to enjoy a tasty brew without having to worry about leaving your dog behind. Cheers and thanks for sharing. If we are ever near this location, we’ll be sure to stop by!

    1. Yes, well.. this dog literally walked into a bar. I followed.

  4. What a great place for both humans and dogs.

  5. What a great concept, now this is our kind of dog park! It looks really nice too. I’d love to visit this place with our dogs. Thanks for sharing.
    Love & Biscuits,
    Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them

  6. What a fantastic venue, and what a pawesome time you’ve been having. I’d love a bar like that!!

    1. Yes I need this closer to me

  7. This sounds like a really fun place to visit – especially if you have a friendly dog! I like that it has both indoor and outdoor components. You could have an outing with your pup even if the weather wasn’t exactly cooperating. It is great that so many pet-friendly businesses are popping up around the US.

    1. Yes you would need a very social dog because the space is smaller and a little more confined than the average dog park. I can only imagine there will be more – it’s doggie daycare to the next level: adding people night care.

  8. That sounds like a lot of fun! I would love to go just to meet other people’s dogs!

    1. I’m sure the dogs are an endless source of conversation and likely a good way to meet other people.

  9. raisingyourpetsnaturally · · Reply

    Wow! So much fun. I know we haven’t been there, but we visited one that looked so similar. Do you know if it’s a chain?

    1. Where did you visit? They told me this one is privately owned but the same couple owns a second. That’s it so far.

  10. Thank bar looks SO fun! I love dog friendly places like this!

    1. Me too! There should be more.

  11. YES PLEASE!!! Adding this to my ‘travel’ list of must visit places. Thank you!

    1. Yes but Sunday was pretty quiet. No game on I guess.

  12. Love this! I so wish I lived closer!

    1. There’s one in Charlotte, NC too if you’re ever traveling through.

  13. Love it always happy to know about places like these

    1. If you’re close by, check it out -especially if you’re dog loves dog parks

  14. These Red Roof people are terrific arent’ they – this looks 1,000,000% dog friendly and such a comfortable place for you all to chill. Some places just don’t have the Red Roof touch – understanding people and pets!

    1. I had no problem in any of the Red Roofs I stayed at and Vic wasn’t an issue. At one it took a bit longer to get to the room because staff wanted to meet him.

  15. What a brilliant idea, love it and wish there was one here in SF

    1. Well there can be. Apparently the company is considering franchising.

  16. What a fun concept and place. My hubby loves watching sports on big screens – they should have more dog-friendly places like that here. Clever way to get around the food prep.

    1. Love that too. It’s surprising how many problems food trucks solve

  17. Wow, that sounds so fun! We have a few bars that allow dogs on the patio, but not inside.

    1. We’re not even allowed on the patio

  18. Wow, this place sounds SO FUN! We have a few bars that allow dogs on the patio, but not actually inside.

  19. It would be nice if there was a place here where you could watch games/debates with your dog! I think there might be some summer pop-ups but none in the winter.

    1. Political debates is an awesome idea.

  20. Sounds like a fun spot! I’m glad you got to visit.

    We have many bars here with outdoor seating that allow well-behaved leashed dogs.

    1. I would love that. Here in Ontario, dogs on patios aren’t allowed.

  21. What an awesome concept – these dog parks/bars would be so popular in Australia.

  22. Great post, I love Red Roof Inn cause they are so dog friendly.

    1. Thank you. Yes, in the U.S. I’m travelling with them almost exclusively.

  23. What a great idea. My niece lives in North Carolina, I’ll tell her about the Lucky Dog.

    1. Thanks. It’s near Cornelius.

  24. What an amazing concept!! We wouldn’t be able to bring Henry because he is dog reactive, but how I wish we could! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Admittedly so is mine toward Huskies. But I keep an eye on him and for the most part off leash he’s ok

  25. This sounds amazing! Cat cafes and dog bars. Love it! It looks like quite the fun place. Nice that there are food trucks nearby too.

    1. No food trucks the night I was there but loved having a beer with Victor and a friend.

  26. This is so cool!👍 Thanks for sharing!!

    1. It was very cool. If I lived near there I’d drink more.

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