Pick of the Month: Chateau Le Woof
This Pick of the Month belongs to Chateau le Woof, Astoria’s premier dog cafe. When I got the chance to visit with my two teen terriers in tow, I knew that I was in a special place. At first, I found the number of options for dog treats a bit overwhelming. After some deep thought about the tastes of an animal that licks its own butt, I grabbed the bacon flavored ice cream, which my dogs absolutely loved. I was lucky enough to speak with owner, Natassa Contini, to get all the details, or in this case, dog-tails.
Animal cafes have definitely caught on with the public in recent years, and Chateau le Woof’s popularity and the pet-friendly city of Astoria go hand-in-hand. The first dog cafe in the world opened in Asia several decades ago. But the first dog cafe in the U.S.? That distinction belongs to Chateau le Woof. “We were the first dog cafe,” Contini told me with pride, “Ever.”
The origin of Chateau le Woof is an inspiring story of an entrepreneur who saw a need to fill. Chateau le Woof was literally Contini’s dream. “I used to think people getting ideas from dreams was bullsh*t, but I had this random dream where I was sitting at a cafe with my dog. Within a week, I had a lease and a space.”
Chateau le Woof is roomy, with plenty of seating inside and out. Astorians can bring their dogs or come alone and get their dog fix. Tasty cuisine is available for dogs and humans, and brunch is served on Sunday, “We have lavender pancakes for humans and peanut butter pancakes for dogs,” Contini explained. Ever had the thought that your dog might enjoy a shrimp cocktail? Visit the raw bar and grab some freeze-dried seafood, including octopus, which, according to Contini, is an homage to Astoria’s Greek culture. And that’s not all. Chateau le Woof is a one-stop shop for grooming, dog walking, and pet supplies. In the fall, Contini plans to expand services to include doggy daycare as well, “I stayed at an elite hotel once, and they came around every hour on the hour with a surprise tray of food. That inspired me. So it’s a pamper-your-pooch experience.”
If loving what you do is the key to happiness, then Contini is probably the happiest person in Astoria. She not only owns the cafe but also lives in the building. “There’s a community here like no other,” she told me. “We know each other’s dogs. We take care of each other. We’ve all become friends.”
3101 Vernon Blvd. / 718.626.9663 / chateaulewoof.com