Terrie and I, not to mention Nilla, found ourselves beyond disappointment today when we headed to one of our favorite weekend activities, taking Nilla to one of downtown Winston-Salem’s six dog-friendly breweries. Why? Because apparently, a week ago, the Forsyth County Health Department began enforcing a little-known aspect of health law forbidding establishments that use glassware from allowing dogs inside, even when no food preparation is being done on the premises.
As dog lovers know, breweries have become a big part of the renaissance of Winston-Salem in recent years, with the newest, Incendiary, opening Labor Day weekend in the old Bailey factory building. Nilla enjoyed this newest spot much as for years she has enjoyed Fiddlin’ Fish, Joymongers, Wise Man, Hoots, Foothills Tasting Room, and even some non-brewpub bars such as Rec Billiards and Juggheads, Growlers & Pints.
An article we read indicated brewpub owners hope to push state legislators to pass a law allowing these kinds of establishments an exception. I challenge everyone to support this, and I want to know what else I can do to help. In Winston-Salem, these inevitably locally owned brewpubs have helped bring people out on weeknights and weekends; they are filled with families–parents, grandparents, kids, and, yes, dogs. I’ve never once seen an accident or problem as a result of a dog in one of these establishments, and all dog owners obey logical rules such as keeping their pets on a leash.
How the Forsyth County Health Department can decide on the arcane logic of enforcing this particular codicil at this time to take a bite out of these businesses that have helped provide new tax income is beyond me. What pet-hating, joy-killing bureaucrat is behind this and why now?
It’s outrageous, and I ask you to write to Forsyth County (see below) and tell our elected officials and county staff that when there is no food preparation at an establishment, there is no reason to try to enforce this particular law, which is aimed at keeping dog hair from creating a health hazard. No such situation exists at these breweries.
For shame, Forsyth County!
Let our families enjoy the weekend! Support your local businesses!
Write to: Forsyth County Government Center, County Manager J. Dudley Watts, 201 North Chestnut Street, Winston-Salem, NC 27101. For those inclined to call, the phone is: 336 703 2020.