Sunday, February 4, 2018

The dogs are in



Araneta Center is known as the premier work-live-play community in the country with its shopping malls, the Araneta Coliseum, the Kia Theatre and various residential and office buildings.

But tucked in a quiet nook at the Manhattan Row is a place perfect for pet lovers or even those just looking to destress after a tiring day at work or in school.



Bengal Brew / Wolf & Bear Café is a unique concept that allows customers to hang out with cats and dogs while enjoying their favorite drinks and pastries.


For a one-year membership that costs P100 and for as cheap as P199, guests can already bond with cats and dogs at this pet café. Two pet cafes in one with those affordable prices? Now that is truly pet-malu!

Guests are required to sanitize and change their footwear to socks and slippers upon entering the café’s premise. They are then led to Bengal Brew where the felines are. The ambiance of the café mimics a safari and guests will be surprised where the cats are lounging or playing. These cats are not your usual neighborhood cats. But the true star of the place is Lucas, the rare and majestic African serval.


Every day is Year of the Dog

The celebration of the Chinese New Year is just around the corner, and what better way to celebrate it than with the cute and playful canines of the Wolf & Bear Café.

Compared to Bengal Brew, the setup at Wolf & Bear is more relaxed, something like that of a playpen or a daycare but for dogs.

Gentle giants Tchiko the Akita, Betty the St. Bernard and Cooper the Great Pyrenees greet guests in their playpen. Their size and bark would overwhelm some, but guests who give it just a little more time would soon find themselves enjoying these dogs company.

Betty. The St. Bernard
Tchiko. The Akita
Cooper. The Great Pyrenees

The next area is the enclosed playpen where the more territorial Alaskan malamutes, Siberian Husky, golden retriever, Newfoundlands and Great Dane are. Except for the occasional mood swings, these dogs are also very gentle and friendly to the guests.


Some of them also have a “story to tell.” Coby the golden retriever, for example, was a rescued dog who was skin and bones when he was adopted by the café’s owner, TV director Don Michael Perez. He is now healthy and cheerful. Jacob, on the other hand, is a deaf husky.

Coby. The Golden Retriever

On the mezzanine is the dining area where toy dogs are also staying. Some of the dog breeds here are a poodle, bichon frises, a Pomeranian and what is said to be the only Italian greyhound in the Philippines, Iñigo.

Dining Area at Mezzanine
Iñigo. The Greyhound

Destiny. The Bichon Frises

Bella. The Poodle

Trained

It is understandable that some of the customers may feel intimidated by the dogs—even by the littlest ones of them—especially if they do not understand these furballs’ demeanor.

Ghost. The Alaskan Malamute

Denzil Joshua Tan, one of the baristas and receptionists at the pet café, assured that these dogs are trained, but of course, can still get playful and moody.

While the dogs are trained, he said that it is also important for the guests to be briefed about what their behavior should be in the presence of these pets.

“We tell them of our house rules, the dos and don’ts, while they are in the café,” Tan said.




Treats for humans too


Tan also assured that the dogs are well taken care of. While they are in an enclosed facility during business hours—the café is open from 12 noon to 9 p.m. from Sundays to Thursdays and from 12 noon to 10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays—they still get to exercise in the morning or in the evening by walking around Araneta Center.

It also sells food and grooming products for cats and dogs.



 As a café, Bengal Brew / Wolf & Bear offers delicious treats to humans too with their delectable pastries and delicious drinks.

Their best sellers are the Café Bengal, which is an espresso-based coffee with milk, caramel, chocolate and almond, and their cakes and bars. They also serve local beer.



The café also has sockets and free Wi-Fi connection. But according to Tan, these are rarely used because people come there to really enjoy the company of their family, friends and these furry creatures.

The café gets really busy during weekends and holidays, so it’s also advisable to visit the pets during weekdays where guests can enjoy the company of the dogs and cats unobstructed.



Just as this pet café continues to bring enjoyment to its guests, Araneta Center is also making efforts to continue making it a pet-friendly destination. Watch out as well for Araneta Center’s celebration of the Chinese New Year and the Year of the Dog. For more updates, visit www.aranetacenter.net and like our Facebook page.




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