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A Dog-Friendly Cafe Reopens, With a Few New Tricks

A triumphant mood hung in the air at the East Village cafe Boris & Horton, as good boys and good girls scampered, barked, sprawled and ogled an array of treats.

“We’re here two times a day during the week,” said Monica Hu, a longtime customer, with her three pugs at her feet last Sunday. “There’s no place like it in the city.”

The 2,100-square-foot cafe on the corner of 12th Street and Avenue A spans three former storefronts, that have been converted into a seated dining area where dogs are allowed but no food can be ordered, a seated area where only humans are allowed, and a takeout window. (The separation is what makes it a dog-friendly cafe, rather than a dog cafe, in the style of cat cafes that provide the companionship.) Logan Mikhly and her father, Coppy Holzman, opened the place in 2018 and a second location in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, last summer.

The festive scene on Sunday represented a quick turnabout for the owners, who had announced on Feb. 15 that they were closing both Boris & Horton locations, much to the shock and dismay of loyal customers. Within about a week, a GoFundMe campaign driven by many of those customers raised around $250,000 to keep the business afloat. The outpouring of community support convinced Ms. Mikhly and Mr. Holzman to reconsider.

“It made us kind of nervous,” Ms. Mikhly said. “We didn’t want to take people’s money and not have a plan for it.” Wary of becoming yet another small business saved by the community only to close again, she and her father decided to revisit their business model. They reopened Boris & Horton, with a few crucial changes, on March 11.

At Boris & Horton, food cannot be ordered in the area where dogs are allowed.Credit…Clark Hodgin for The New York Times

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