The latest must go to place in New York City's East Village is the Ruff Club, a socialising space for dogs, and their owners.
We’ve all heard of pet spas and pet hotels, (glorified groomers and kennels), but New York has seen the emergence of a new phenomenon, the pet club. Not unlike clubs for people, think The Reform Club in London or Soho House in New York, Ruff is exactly like that, but for dogs.
Here dog owners can bring their dogs to socialize, or for the day while they’re at work, (like an afterschool club for children) or to stay while away from home. But what is it about this place that warrants the appellative of club and not spa, hotel or simply kennel?
The Ruff Club interiors. Photo courtesy of the NY Times.
Well first of all its location, from the outside it seems like one of those hip bars which line the East Village. Inside, the space is welcoming, diverse and high tech. There’s a reception with a beautiful concierge type wooden bar, roasted coffee for the owners, socializing spaces for the dogs and i pads kiosks for self check in for those in a rush, oh and a screening process to be admitted.
Trainers and socializers with university degrees and years of experience take charge of your furry friends at the Ruff club, giving you that sort of security one feels when dropping their children off at the best, most qualified and high performance private school available.
Ruff however is neither a school nor a pet spa, their mantra being “for dogs to enjoy a laid-back environment where they are treated with dignity and respect but never pampered or infantilized”.
Ruff Club, 34 Avenue A, East Village, NY