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April 06, 2023

Bark Social, the dog-friendly club coming to Manayunk, is nearly ready to open

Members can drink craft beers and sip coffee as they hang out with other canine lovers – and their pets

Pets Dogs
Bark Social Manayunk Provided Image/Bark Social

Bark Social, a dog-friendly social club, will open at 3720 Main St. in Manayunk on Monday, April 17. It boasts a 10,000-square-foot lawn.

A new social club in Manayunk is preparing to offer all-day fun to customers of the two- and four-legged varieties.

Bark Social, a dog-friendly hangout spot with two locations in Maryland, is opening a new club at 3720 Main St. on Monday, April 17. The club will offer memberships for people (with or without canine companions) to enjoy amenities like a cafe, bar and boutique. 

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"Think the Soho House, but more accessible, and with a bunch of dogs running around," said Luke Silverman, founder and CEO of Bark Social. "Whatever you can do at a bar/restaurant, coffee shop or pet retailer, you can do at Bark Social. And really, it's just a place where everyone comes together and you know that you have at least one thing in common with everyone, that you love dogs. It's tough to not leave with a smile on your face."

The club, which has indoor and outdoor spaces, will be open throughout the morning, afternoon and evening. It offers food and drinks, a climate-controlled clubhouse, free WiFi, televisions and self-serve dog baths. Free parking is be available in a lot, so people don't have to wrangle with Manayunk street parking.

manayunk bark social interiorProvided Image/Bark Social

Bark Social offers food and drinks, a climate-controlled clubhouse, free WiFi, televisions and self-serve dog baths.

There will be a Philly flair to the new location. Bark Social's beer list will include brews from Neshaminy Creek Brewing, Lancaster Brewing Co. and Conshohocken Brewing Co. 

"At each of our locations, we really try to do the local partnerships," Bark Social COO Charlene Lee said. "We had a lot of people actually mention to us that because of our local partnerships, they really trust us. So we're super excited that Manayunk is such a close-knit community and up and down the Main Line as well."

Bark Social is partnering with local shelters to host adoption events and "tap takeover" fundraisers as part of its Frankie Cares nonprofit, inspired by Silverman's dog.

manayunk bark social frankieProvided Image/Bark Social

Bark Social, the new dog-friendly club opening in Manayunk, is modeled after the Soho House – but its founder says its more accessible and open to canines.

Silverman, an Allentown native and Muhlenberg College alum, founded Bark Social in 2019. He was inspired by a lifelong love for dogs. 

"I actually had a dog in my freshman dorm for a little while until I got caught," Silverman said. "But basically, I've always had dogs my entire life. I've always loved dogs."

Silverman quit his job and went to grad school amid a "quarter-life crisis," and he and his now-wife moved in together and adopted their dog. The trio frequented a place in Austin, Texas – where they lived at the time – that had a similar concept to Bark Social. After spending months visiting dog bars around the country, Silverman felt ready to launch his own dog-friendly social club.

"I just thought it would be great to bring it back to the mid-Atlantic region where I was born and raised," Silverman said. "And I think that the one thing that's very different for Bark Social than a lot of what's out there is that we're hyper-focused on our customer experience, like we are maniacal about our customer experience, and that's something that I didn't feel was as present in other locations."

manayunk bark social muralProvided Image/Bark Social

A mural at the new Bark Social club in Manayunk depicts various dog breeds.

Bark Social's first two locations came in Bethesda and Baltimore, Maryland. After opening its Philly location, the company plans to continue expanding elsewhere in the country. 

For now, Manayunk felt like the perfect place for Silverman to lay down local roots.

"We spent about a year and a half looking for a site in Philly. ... Finding a lot of open space in Philadelphia is very difficult," Silverman said. "And so the timing was right; we also just absolutely love Manayunk. I mean, the downtown Main Street is awesome. ... So yeah, the timing was right, and just kind of like a needle in a haystack. And there's a little over 10,000 square feet of outdoor space, so plenty of room for your pups to run around."

manayunk bark social dogProvided Image/Bark Social

Freddy the dog wears a custom Bark Social bandana outside of the new dog-friendly club in Manayunk.

The Manayunk club also has a coffee shop, a covered patio and an area with tables where people can watch TV. Dogs need to be spayed and neutered and up-to-date on their vaccinations to enter. They also aren't allowed in certain indoor areas due to health department restrictions.

Memberships for the Philly location, which grant access to a various exclusive deals and amenities, can be purchased online. Annual, monthly and daily memberships available. Bark Social currently is offering "founding" annual memberships for $325.  

manayunk bark social windowsProvided Image/Bark Social

Bark Social will be open during the morning, afternoon and evening.

Though there surely will be lots of pups enjoying Bark Social, the club notes that all humans are welcome, with or without furry friends.

"Our big thing for us is you don't need a dog to enter," Silverman said. "So that's one of the big things is, you know, at the end of the day, we're just a place for dog lovers and dogs."

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