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Get a beer at the dog park — ‘Bar-K’ pitched for St. Louis

Get a beer at the dog park — ‘Bar-K’ pitched for St. Louis

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ST. LOUIS — The cat, er, dog, is out of the bag.

The second location of the popular Kansas City dog park-restaurant concept “Bar K” — get it? — is planned for St. Louis’ Forest Park Southeast neighborhood.

Clayton-based developer Green Street wants to turn the industrial building and adjacent vacant lot at 4565 McRee Avenue into new space for the unique concept.

Bar K opened its bar and dog-park concept on Kansas City’s Missouri Riverfront in 2018 in a converted shipping container structure. Bar K leaders told the Kansas City Business Journal this summer they were looking to open two more locations in 2020, eyeing St. Louis, Oklahoma City, Minneapolis and Nashville.

The business, led by Dave Hensley and Leib Dodell, offers membership packages for regular visitors, with an off-leash dog park play area supervised by “Dogtenders.”

For the humans, there’s a bar and restaurant and space to work, and patrons can leave their dogs in the play area under staff supervision while they go inside. Yes, there’s a food menu for dogs, too.

Nonmembers are welcome, provided they fill out some paperwork and pay a $10 entrance fee for their first dog and $5 for each additional pup. The dogless can hang out, too, for no cover charge.

Green Street acquired the industrial building along McRee Avenue over the summer. While technically in the Forest Park Southeast neighborhood known for the Grove entertainment district, the buildings are well south of the Manchester Avenue bars, and cut off from the neighborhood to the north by several railroad tracks.

Green Street’s plan calls for a $13.8 million rehab of the property — formerly owned by Cardinal Building Materials, which is moving this month. Green Street also owns the adjacent industrial property at 4591 McRee, though plans aren’t final for that building yet.

As for the Bar K plan, a Green Street spokeswoman said, “We would love to be a part of bringing Bar K to the St. Louis metro area.” But she added that plans aren’t finalized yet and Green Street is still negotiating with several potential users. A spokesman for Bar K also said plans are still being finalized.

Green Street has been active in the neighborhood, recently unveiling a $55 million plan for the corner of Swan and Taylor avenues that would add 307 apartments and 1,400 square feet of commercial space. That project is being paired with a second, scattered-site development that would build 168 apartments and town homes on six sites to the east of Taylor, with about half of those units leased below market rate.

Green Street also co-developed the 235-apartment Chroma project at the northeast end of the neighborhood near Vandeventer and Manchester avenues with the Koman Group.

It actually wouldn’t be the first dog-park bar concept to open here. In March, The Doghaus Soulard opened at 1800 South 10th Street, where Tropical Liqueurs was located. It has similar rules on membership.

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