Photos: Dog Days has returned to Sidetrack

Thu. August 26, 2021 8:57 PM by Ross Forman

photo credit // sidetrack

'I love this day … so many cute dogs,' says Sidetrack GM Brad Balof

Dogs have been barking at Sidetrack for more than 15 years, literally.

Dog Day Afternoon at Sidetrack is traditionally held on the first Saturday of the month unless there are scheduling conflicts, as will be the case this October and December, when the furry, four-legged friends will visit the popular Lakeview bar on the second Saturday of those months.

Dog Days started with employees who volunteered at Paws Chicago animal shelters. They put together an afternoon where people could come meet dogs that were up for adoption.

“I love this day … so many cute dogs,” said Sidetrack general manager Brad Balof. “I love taking their pictures, passing out treats and having a little dog therapy once a month.”

And many dogs are regulars, visiting monthly – and of course remembering Balof, as he walks around with a pocketful of treats to bribe them for pictures.

Every October, Sidetrack hosts a Doggy Costume Contest to coincide with Halloween.

“We have great outside spaces, and a lot of regular dogs that are walked by our front door every day,” said Balof, who noted that the event has drawn, ruff ruff, more than 50 dogs.

“Dog people are the best; (the event) gives them a chance to bring their best friend out for an afternoon. There are a lot of neighborhood dogs that join us as well as regular customers that might not live in the area but bring their dogs out for an afternoon of fun.”

Sidetrack's longtime sponsor for Dog Days – for the dog owners – is Tito's Vodka.