Dogs, too, can chow down in this cafe

BY BOB KRASNER | It’s definitely the Year of the Dog for Boris & Horton, the newest eatery in the East Village to allow your dog to sit inside with you while you eat. In fact, it’s the only one in New York City, and possibly the first of its kind anywhere.

Here’s the deal: It’s not like those cat cafes, where the felines inhabit the premises: This is BYOD (Bring Your Own Dog).

Louie, an English bulldog, got a treat from Tim at Boris & Horton. Photos by Bob Krasner

Created by Coppy Holzman and his daughter Logan Mikhly, the cafe opened on Feb. 2 at 195 Avenue A, at E. 12th St. (formerly Ost Cafe). It basically works like this: The cafe is divided into three separate areas. There is the main food-service section, where you can order food and coffee and sit comfortably without the presence of pups.

Then there is the other half, accessible through a passageway, where you, your pet and anyone else can enjoy the menu.

The third part of the equation is the side window, sheltered from the weather, where you can order whatever you’re going to bring with you and your dog to the other side.

Keeping the animals out of the food-prep area satisfies the Department of Health, and having a place where you can drink coffee and be surrounded by furry cuteness makes a lot of other people happy.

One woman, Mikhly related, had Googled “how to lift your spirits after having a bad day.” Apparently, the answer she found was that petting dogs was a remedy, so she came to B & H and left a happier person.

The happiest of all may be the two owners, who are thrilled with the reaction to their venture and are already planning to open more venues. They recently received a liquor license for their new East Village spot.

It all started about a year ago, when the two were walking their dogs. Hers is 8-year-old Horton, while he owns 2-year-old Boris, both rescues. Mikhly had to leave her dad outside a cafe with the animals while she went in to get coffee. That’s when, she said, her dad had “the light-bulb moment” and the idea started on its way to reality.

Hmm, what to order?… Macaroni perused the menu with Alex Carpenter at Boris & Horton, a novel “dog cafe,” at E. 12th St. and Avenue A.

Holzman’s previous life was somewhat different, having founded and run Charitybuzz, an enormously successful online celebrity-based charity auction house. He sold the business in December 2016 and moved to the East Village. Mikhly, who had  been running an animal rescue operation in New Orleans, also moved to the city, and the two spent the last year working out all the details. Besides the obvious Health Department rules, they had their own parameters to set up.

They were determined to use local sources as much as possible, along with providing healthy options. The food is all vegetarian, with vegan options. Even the dog treats are “gluten-free, grain-free, human-grade dog biscuits,” according to the owners.

They list 20 local vendors as food sources and stuck with neighborhood contractors, speaking very highly of Space Architects on E. Seventh St., and Avenue Construction, another local business.

Realizing the value of a brand, they have thoughtfully made available for purchase Boris and Horton hats, mugs, T-shirts, tote bags and dog carriers. But they wouldn’t mind if you took home something else once in awhile, as they plan on having adoption events once a week. The most recent was a Valentine’s Day “Pity Party” — with mostly pit bulls available, hence the catchy name.

Logan Mikhly, left, with Horton, and her dad, Coppy Holzman, with Boris outside of their new canine-centric cafe, Boris & Horton, on Avenue A.

Employee Emma Apicelli noted that the dog walkers have already found the place and Holzman concurred, noting that one came in recently with 12 very well-behaved clients. Apicelli, who loves socializing with dogs and dog lovers, proudly noted that the cafe was “created by people who really care about the community.”

Alex Carpenter and Maegan Hayward, who live half a block away above their shop, the East Village Vintage Collective, are big fans of the place.

“We couldn’t be happier about Boris and Horton,” Carpenter said. “We’re always out and about with our recently adopted angel, Snacks, and it’s really nice to have a place where we can sit down and eat with her!”

Several patrons came in after hearing about it in the Tompkins Square Park dog Run, a few blocks away. One of them was Tim, the owner of Louie, an English bulldog with extremely long legs.

“This place is awesome!” he exclaimed. “What’s better than dogs and coffee?”

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