Doggy Style Deli co-owner Geno Rodrigues serves German Shepherd's Pie to Gohan, a pomeranian-papillon cross, who came in with owner Lynn Clarke.
It has taken more than 50 years, but Lady and the Tramp can finally come out of the alley and into the restaurant.
That's because Edmonton has its first restaurant catering especially to the canine crowd. And yes, in a move reminiscent of the famous kissing scene between the two Disney characters in the 1955 animated classic, this restaurant serves spaghetti.
Doggy Style Deli, open for about a month, is located on Stony Plain Road in the city's west end. The new restaurant serves fresh specials each day to dogs who come in with their owners.
It also sells dog food and treats, as well as pet accessories such as clothing and slippers. In addition, it offers pet grooming services, including ear piercing.
The restaurant doesn't serve food to people, although co-owner Geno Rodrigues, 34, said pet owners are welcome to bring in a bagged lunch and eat with their pets.
The new enterprise is licensed through the city's planning and development department as a business, not as a restaurant.
Health officer Ken Dong of Capital Health said there are no Capital Health food regulations that apply to dogs.
He added, however, that nuisance and general sanitation regulations would apply if there were any problems coming from the property due to food production.
Dog owner Marilyn Toronczyk said her 21-month-old German shepherd, Samson, feels right at home at Doggy Style Deli. "It's so friendly and such a wonderful idea because there isn't another place like this in the city," said Toronczyk, who has been to the restaurant numerous times. "Your dog gets to sit at a table and eat and interact with other dogs and people."
Cheerfully designed with bright yellow walls and blue trim, Doggy Style has a handful of tables. Each table has a bench on either side. Big dogs sit on the benches. Smaller dogs can plant themselves right on the table.
It took a while to get used to having her dog sit on the table, said Lynn Clarke, who was in the deli with her three-year-old pomeranian-papillon cross, Gohan.
"He loves the food," said Clarke, who heard about the new establishment from other dog owners in the Laurier Park off-leash area.
Rodrigues, who owns the business with his wife LaRea and his in-laws, has a background in catering. He created the menu. The German Shepherd's Pie comes in two sizes for $2.99 and $5.99. There is a Kibble Buffet, a modified steam tray full of various kinds of dry dog food. Other specials include Rotweiler Rice, Meat Mania and Pooch Pockets, which are like pizza pockets.
LaRea and Geno said that sometimes it gets so busy in the restaurant that they don't have time for lunch and will snack on the dog treats or Pooch Pockets. As Geno strolls through the restaurant with his 16-month-old son, Kaleb, on his hip, the toddler clutches a dog treat that's made with wheat germ and peanut butter.
Toronczyk said she and Samson like the social aspect of Doggy Style Deli.
"You're going to think I'm insane, but you can have play dates in here," said Toronczyk.
"Samson is turning two in September and I've already booked this place for his puppy party."
Geno makes birthday cakes at Doggy Style that are slathered with mashed potatoes dyed pink with blackberry juice instead of icing. In lieu of candles, a wiener tops the cake.