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Dog park and bar planned for Oklahoma River front

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Bar K, part dog park, bar, restaurant and event space is set to be the first commercial anchor for the Boathouse District along the Oklahoma River.

Pending approval by the Oklahoma City Council, construction is expected to begin this winter with an opening by early 2021. The start of commercial development coincides with efforts to make the growing outdoor recreational district a year-around draw. Bar K currently has a downtown riverfront location in Kansas City, Missouri.

Mike Knopp, director of the OKC Boathouse Foundation, said Bar K will be built northeast of the White Rapids Center. In previous interviews with The Oklahoman, Knopp said the foundation has a goal of also seeking development of a retail rowing and sports village and a hotel.

“There’s nothing quite like Bar K — you have to see it to believe it,” Knopp said. “The pet- and people-friendly concept will be a perfect complement to the existing amenities in the district. Athletes, families and visitors to the city will have the opportunity to include their dogs as part of a full day of fun in the Boathouse District.”

Bar K opened its first location in Kansas City in August 2018 and has hosted more than 200,000 human guests and 150,000 canine guests. The bar offers a casual menu along with gourmet coffee, juices, smoothies and a variety of locally brewed beers and cocktails.

Leib Dodell, founding partner of Bar K, said the Oklahoma City location will operate much like the one in Kansas City, which is open 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week, with the restaurant serving breakfast, lunch and dinner along with dishes made in the kitchen for its canine guests.

The bar and restaurant includes indoor and outdoor dining and plans call for it to be surrounded by a staffed, two-acre, off-leash dog park with play structures and seating. The Oklahoma City location is the first to have an indoor play space, spanning 10,000 square feet, for guests to use during inclement weather.

Dodell said the Boathouse Foundation and the city helped secure Oklahoma City as the first expansion of several for the venue.

In addition to rowing, kayaking and other outdoor sports along the river, the area is connected to a citywide trail system that goes through downtown and surrounding neighborhoods.

“We scouted a lot of markets and properties for our next Bar K location, and as soon as we visited the Boathouse District, we knew we had to be here,” Dodell said. “Our unique dog-friendly atmosphere will be the perfect addition to this part of the city, and we can’t think of a better place to spend a day with your dog.”

Related Photos
<strong>Bar K's first location in Kansas City, Mo. has drawn 200,000 people and 150,000 canine guests since opening in August 2018. A similar concept is planned for Oklahoma City. Provided.</strong>

Bar K's first location in Kansas City, Mo. has drawn 200,000 people and 150,000 canine guests since opening in August 2018. A similar concept is planned for Oklahoma City. Provided.

<figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-52b5b240d86b39e725107d33d79585d4.jpg" alt="Photo - Bar K's first location in Kansas City, Mo. has drawn 200,000 people and 150,000 canine guests since opening in August 2018. A similar concept is planned for Oklahoma City. Provided. " title=" Bar K's first location in Kansas City, Mo. has drawn 200,000 people and 150,000 canine guests since opening in August 2018. A similar concept is planned for Oklahoma City. Provided. "><figcaption> Bar K's first location in Kansas City, Mo. has drawn 200,000 people and 150,000 canine guests since opening in August 2018. A similar concept is planned for Oklahoma City. Provided. </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-83dbb5339ae61ee0f23c3bc0b5d741a8.jpg" alt="Photo - A rendering shows what a potential new dog park and bar concept could bring to the Oklahoma River front. Provided. " title=" A rendering shows what a potential new dog park and bar concept could bring to the Oklahoma River front. Provided. "><figcaption> A rendering shows what a potential new dog park and bar concept could bring to the Oklahoma River front. Provided. </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-8ca9e8c9df120af3c6f6c0b9244d9e9a.jpg" alt="Photo - Construction could begin this winter on Bar K, a combined dog park, restaurant and bar to be built along the Oklahoma River south of downtown. Provided. " title=" Construction could begin this winter on Bar K, a combined dog park, restaurant and bar to be built along the Oklahoma River south of downtown. Provided. "><figcaption> Construction could begin this winter on Bar K, a combined dog park, restaurant and bar to be built along the Oklahoma River south of downtown. Provided. </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-adf9417f7eecff23d0e1ade84a834ecb.jpg" alt="Photo - An indoor dog play area is shown in this conceptual rendering for Bar K set to be built along the Oklahoma River. Provided. " title=" An indoor dog play area is shown in this conceptual rendering for Bar K set to be built along the Oklahoma River. Provided. "><figcaption> An indoor dog play area is shown in this conceptual rendering for Bar K set to be built along the Oklahoma River. Provided. </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-52a6d9bbedf43f6676aaa6904e90dabe.jpg" alt="Photo - The indoor dining and bar area at Bar K is shown in this conceputal rendering. Provided. " title=" The indoor dining and bar area at Bar K is shown in this conceputal rendering. Provided. "><figcaption> The indoor dining and bar area at Bar K is shown in this conceputal rendering. Provided. </figcaption></figure>
Steve Lackmeyer

Steve Lackmeyer is a reporter, columnist and author who started his career at The Oklahoman in 1990. Since then, he has won numerous awards for his coverage, which included the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, the city's... Read more ›

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