Wow, 20 years! It hardly seems that long, but when we stop and think about all that has transpired in and around the Black Dog and our Lowertown neighborhood…it’s kind of overwhelming.
In the early days, the plan was espresso and not much else… but Lowertown had few restaurants then, so food was quickly added to satisfy local demand. Beer and Wine came soon after along with a menu as ambitious as we could manage in our tiny kitchen space.
Having survived the Light Rail construction, and with the opening of CHS Field, the window opened for us to build out a full kitchen when our neighbors at the Clouds in Water Zen Center moved to their new location. Realizing we may not get another chance, we took it, going all in with a full liquor license.
We’ve been buffeted by a few headwinds and there have been a few bumps along the road (9-11, a recession or two, LRT Construction) …in fact sometimes there was no road! Not to mention that what we didn’t know about running this business was a lot. But we’ve learned a few things over the years, had some great experiences, and made many great and dear friends.
The Black Dog has had a bird’s eye view to many changes to the Lowertown Neighborhood over the past twenty year including renovation of the Union Depot and the Farmer’s Market, construction of Light Rail and CHS Field, construction/conversion of over a dozen new residential buildings, and the comings and goings of close to 30 restaurants and bars.
Since opening in 1998 we’ve had hundreds of employees, hosted thousands of performances, and served tens of thousands of customers. We’ve hosted weddings for many couples who have either met or had their first dates at the Black Dog, and we continue to watch as their children grow. The Black Dog has been the first job for many Lowertown kids… some we first got to know as toddlers… and we’re glad to say that some of them continue to work with us to this day.
We would like to express our heartfelt appreciation to everyone who has played a part, large or small, in keeping the Black Dog going through the years and we truly hope that you will be able to join us as we celebrate this milestone birthday.