GREENSBORO, N.C. — The Triad’s first indoor dog park and pub is looking for a new home.
The Barking Deck is just weeks away from its one-year anniversary since opening last January.
Now the owners say their days at the South Walnut Circle location in Greensboro are numbered.
The co-founders, Paula and Keith Dozier, have until Feb. 19 to vacate the building. They say the problem is that no one wants to lease space for an indoor dog park, even with all their success.
“I want our members to know that we are doing everything we can to solve this problem and that we are fully committed to finding a new home for us and that we are so grateful for them,” Paula Dozier said.
Paula and her husband Keith felt like something was missing in their lives after their dog Spartacus passed away last year.
“The idea for The Barking Deck hit me when I was on a plane of all places. Our dog had just passed away and I was in a situation where I really wanted to do something different professionally and the idea of a place where people and dogs could be together just sounded so magical. I couldn’t stop thinking about it,” Dozier recalled.
Now 300 members and thousands of dogs later, that dream hit a roadblock. The Doziers lease half of the 10,000-square-foot space on South Walnut Circle. Their dream was to expand into the other half of the building. That can’t happen now because the owner sold it. The Doziers have less than 60 days to find a new property.
“We’re hearing straight off the bat people say, ‘I don’t know if I want a dog park in my property.’ It’s a new idea. It’s different and it can make people a little bit, just make them step back so it’s been a little bit difficult just trying to get that first foot in the door,” Dozier explained.
Members like James Wharton remain optimistic.
“Every week we’re hoping that there’s some good news, that they’re getting close to finding something new,” Wharton said.
Wharton and his wife come to the deck with their dog Beau.
“I would say we’re in here no less than three times a week. Sometimes four, even five nights a week,” Wharton said.
“It’s a cleaner, safer dog park experience for most people and they really just love that they have a place where they can trust the people that are in here and they feel like this is a great experience for not just them but their dog as well,” Dozier said.
Dozier said they’ve had visitors come from as far as Missouri to spend time at the deck.
“Paula and Keith have done a really good job setting up a really great community. It’s obviously a lot of fun. Our dog gets a lot of exercise and it’s a great way to socialize your dog as well,” Wharton said.
The Doziers’ goal is to spread the word and hope that the right person sees their story. The duo hopes to find a space that’s at least 7,000 square feet.
“We know we can solve those things in time but we just don’t have a lot of time,” Dozier said.
FOX8 reached out to the Doziers’ landlord at IH Properties. He said a local business in Greensboro put down an offer on the whole property. That offer hasn’t closed yet.