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Doggy dinners a big hit at Portsmouth restaurant

Gulf Stream Bar & Grille offers special menu for four-legged friends

Posted 9/14/20

PORTSMOUTH — While Nicole Frisk and Dan Corrigan were waiting for their first course at Gulf Stream Bar & Grille Friday night, their 5-month-old Australian cattle dog, Indie, was already on …

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Please support local news coverage –

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Doggy dinners a big hit at Portsmouth restaurant

Gulf Stream Bar & Grille offers special menu for four-legged friends

Posted

PORTSMOUTH — While Nicole Frisk and Dan Corrigan were waiting for their first course at the Gulf Stream Bar & Grille Friday night, their 5-month-old Australian cattle dog, Indie, was already on dessert.

Indie had a ball licking an ice cream “pup cup” while relaxing next to her owners on the outdoor deck of the establishment, which is located at 1 Lagoon Road in the Melville marine district.

The restaurant, housed in a converted Quonset Hut built in 1942 as part of the Navy’s PT boat training center at Melville, opened four years ago under its current ownership. The eclectic menu has a Caribbean flair but with a southern twist — including a chocolate bourbon pecan pie and a “debris” platter or sandwich — basically New Orleans’ take on a French dip.

But what really sets it apart is the special Doggie Menu, for patrons who’d like their pets to join them on the outdoor deck overlooking the marina. 

For a main course your pooch can have a “Best Buddy Burger” with no bun. Want to cheese or bacon with that? That will be an extra buck.

There are also gourmet doggie treats from WOOF! WOOF! Pet Boutique & Biscuit Bar in Bristol: doggie cookies, a peanut butter “pup” over, Dognoli Cannoli, or an ice cream Pup Cup. Is it your dog’s birthday? Celebrate with a “pup” cake, complete with candles.

You can even share a beer with your pup; the restaurant offers a non-alcoholic craft beer from Beer Paws.

Joe Murphy is one of the restaurant’s partners, along with Reada Evans and Chef Michael “Sully” Sullivan. 

“Reada and Michael started with this idea years ago down in North Carolina,” said Mr. Murphy. “They wanted to bring this concept to New England, and I jumped on board with them.”

Market for dogs?

He admitted he didn’t know there was a market for catering to dogs, and at the time he didn’t even own one.

“I work 12-, 16-hour days, so I didn’t want to leave a dog at home,” he said. “When we opened up here, Reada said, ‘Oh, we gotta be dog-friendly.’” 

They started offering the Doggie Menu last year and it quickly became a hit.

“We know how much people want to sit with their dog. The first year, there were 10 dogs out on the deck. That’s when I decided to adopt this one,” Mr. Murphy said, pointing to Honey, his chill, 12-year-old Lab. “And now she’s become the mascot.”

Last year the restaurant held a fund-raiser for the Save a Lab Rescue Foundation, where Honey came from.

“She’s a good, calm dog — a great bar dog,” he said of Honey, who sits at the bar and greets customers while he works.

“The kids just love her.”

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Jim McGaw

A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.