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If you happen to be a dog lover, a beer drinker or both (who doesn't love dogs AND great beer?!), we've got some exciting news coming your way: Black Lab, the east end's hip, dog-friendly brewery, has now reopened with a roomy patio space and the most ideal summer beer garden vibes.
Although their bottle shop has been operating for the past few months, the space just didn't feel quite the same without the energy of people and happy dogs that they were known for. Black Lab was undoubtedly one of the lucky ones to continue offering their delicious craft beers alongside gift cards and complimentary merch for pick-up during the pandemic shutdown. Still, owners Billy and Anne Madden (and of course, their black lab Snoopy) have been eager to bring their community back in safely. On June 26, they finally announced their plans to open up a Beer Garden in their back patio space, which happens to be the parking lot behind their brewery.
The Beer Garden is now open from 3-9 p.m. on Fridays and 12-9 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays, with an entrance located on Sears Street (off Leslie, between Eastern Ave and Queen St). After waiting in an adequately spaced line, guests are assigned a table, provided with sanitizer, and required to give their group contact information. The patio is limited to 12 tables, each with room for a maximum of six people plus one dog, and they are currently only accepting walk-ins.
The brewery is adamant about visitors maintaining six feet between themselves and anyone outside of their group, including other guests, servers and everyone else on the Black Lab team who is working very hard to maintain distance and provide safe, comfortable service. In terms of the experience, they have pivoted significantly to accommodate the new reality: beer must be ordered at the bar in a one-way line and drinks are served in biodegradable cups, to be disposed of before leaving. As a bonus, they are allowing guests to bring in outside food to enjoy alongside their beverages.
Overall, it seems that the brewery is doing an excellent job of adapting to the new rules, ensuring that guests can still come and have an enjoyable experience while feeling safe. Things have gone smoothly thus far, so make sure to grab your furry friend (or borrow someone's!) and sip on a cold craft beer while soaking in the summer sunshine.