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Bar K

Bar meets Dog Park

Bar meets dog park at Bar K, a unique environment bringing people and dogs together to share a fun outing in Kansas City. Co-founders David Hensley and Leib Dodell created Bar K because nothing like it existed.

“I grew up in a small town in Kansas,” David says. “Dogs were always a part of our family, but it was different back then—dogs spent most of their time in the backyard and rarely left the home. Now, it’s common to see a dog in the passenger seat of a car or walking around the hardware store with their owner. I spent most of my 20’s working in pharmaceutical sales and my 30’s working on my own business. Fast forward to about 10 years ago, in what could only be described as a synchronistic moment. 

“My business partner and I had picked up our dogs on exactly the same weekend. At the time we were both very socially active, often going out to dinner or grabbing drinks with friends. We started trying to bring our dogs with us to bars and restaurants, coffee shops, basically everywhere. When you do that, you start to find that it’s usually not a great experience for the dogs—they’re leashed up next to your table wanting to play. Then you go to dog parks, but that really isn’t the greatest experience for the humans, and they can be hit or miss as there is no one there to manage the play. That’s when we thought, why don’t we build out a community meeting place that combines a dog park with a bar, restaurant and event space?”

David sums up the experience in just one word.

“Joy! It’s hard not to have a smile on your face when you look around and see all of the dogs having such a great time. Also, you don’t have to bring a dog to experience that joy. We get tons of people who come without dogs.”

Those without a dog can enter for free. To bring your dog, you must either have a membership, which offers unlimited access and specials every day of the week, or purchase a guest pass for $10 on weekdays and $15 on weekends, with an additional $5 for each extra dog in your pack. Trained Bar K “Dogtenders” supervise dogs in their multiple spacious dog parks for both large and small dogs.

Bar K features fresh, locally and ethically sourced food and drink for both you and your pup. Their healthy casual menu includes appetizers and snacks, sandwiches, salads, and bowls, which are their most popular item on the menu. Bowls are made with seasoned cilantro white rice, diced tomato, toasted farro, marinated pinto beans, red onion, queso fresco, fresh lime, and your choice of grilled steak, chicken, or portobello mushrooms. Their cocktails have fun names like Spicy Pineapple Papillon, Dog Paddle, Tail Chaser, Mastiff Mimosa, and Gin-tle Lab-ender Lemonade.

“You can’t go wrong with the Good Boy Punch made with J. Rieger Whiskey, Plantation Dark Rum, grapefruit, allspice, Tiki Bitters and green tea.”

Let your dog in on the fun with their “for the pups” menu including beef stew, chicken risotto, turkey and sweet potato meatballs, and turkey bacon jerky. Dessert features fresh baked cookies, doggie ice cream, and celebration cakes from Three Dog Bakery, and beer paws whiskey biscuits from J. Rieger whiskey grains. It doesn’t stop there—there’s even Beer Paws Craft Beer and Dog Wine from Pet Winery!

David says his favorite part of owning a dog park and bar is the community building that organically happens around the common love for dogs.

“Truly, what’s a better ice breaker than a dog?! I think we can all agree that we’re living in a time when there are so many polarizing elements and reasons for people to disagree. Dogs are great in that they give an opportunity to break down barriers to conversation and allow people to find commonality. It’s nice to be reminded that we don’t disagree as much as we’re often made to think.”

There’s no better time than summer to visit Bar K.

“We have a regular slate of live musicians playing on our stage, and yes, the dogs are welcome to take the stage! Additionally, whether you have a dog or not, Puppies’ Night Out every Thursday is a fantastic time to come check the place out.”

Bar K has locations in Kansas City and St. Louis, with Oklahoma City opening at the end of the year and plans to open five other cities within the coming years. For more information, visit