Spot Check: The Dog Cafe’s Pup-Up Brings Together Canines and Coffee

This weekend could be a preview of a permanent puppy haven in L.A.

If all goes according to plan and her fundraising campaign is a success, Sarah Wolfgang will be the owner and operator of America’s first dog cafe, aptly called The Dog Cafe. However, Wolfgang wants everyone to know that the cafe’s purpose is beyond the literally warm and fuzzy feelings customers will get when hangin’ with the dogs and sippin’ on an Americano (Wolfgang’s favorite coffee drink). The raison d’être is to have the dogs at The Dog Cafe find a loving home. The caffeinated kick is a plus.

Wolfgang is hosting a Downtown pop-up–a Pup-Up–through the weekend for those who want to help her reach her funding goal, get a preview of her vision, and meet some delightful dogs.

Wolfgang conceived her idea for a dog cafe last March. But, really, the seed for this concept had been germinating ever since she traveled to South Korea at the age of 14. There, she volunteered with a bunch of American ex-pats to help out canine shelters. What immediately struck her was the open environment of the Korean shelters, different from the ones in the U.S. where dogs are generally caged.

Wolfgang firmly believes that the caged shelters alter the personalities of some dogs, making them less adoptable. “There are people who believe some dogs are unadoptable. I don’t believe that. I think every possible option should be exhausted before euthanization is considered,” she says.

Wolfgang aims to get canines adopted by presenting shelter dogs in an environment that shows their “true self.” She wants to put them in a place where they can roam and meet new friends, and that’s what we saw when we visited the Pup-Up on Thursday.

If all goes smoothly, The Dog Cafe’s future home will be in Little Tokyo. It would technically be set up as two businesses with two separate spaces—”Dog Zone” and cafe side. The reason for this is due to health department regulations. Make no mistake, however, the combination of the spaces will be known as  The Dog Cafe.

As far as the coffee, the Perkup Mobile Coffee Truck is providing the brew for Pup-Up, with Grounds & Hounds anteing up the beans. Twenty percent of the proceeds are going to Wags and Walks, a dog-rescue organization.

Reserved tickets for The Dog Cafe’s Pup-Up can be purchased for $20 (coffee included) on Indiegogo, or you can walk in for $15 (coffee sold separately). More details and information on how to support Wolfgang’s cause is on The Dog Cafe’s Indiegogo fundraising page.

The Dog Cafe’s Pup-Up fundraiser goes through Sunday and runs from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. (but the coffee truck leaves for the day at about 2 p.m.). As for the overall Indiegogo campaign, there are two weeks left and The Dog Cafe has raised more than $12,000 of its $200,000 goal.

If you want L.A. to be the first city in the nation to have a dog cafe, go out and support the Pup-Up.

redarrow The Dog Cafe Pup-Up, 838 S. Los Angeles St., Downtown