Hounds & Tap – The Hangout for Hounds and Humans

April 11, 2024
Photos by Patricia Puccinelli A unique place to hang out with your favorite hounds and humans or meet new friends.

One of the locally sourced t-shirts available for sale at The Hounds & Tap in Menomonee Falls proudly states, “If I can’t bring my dog, I’m not going.” Three years ago, Leah Neuroth, the owner of The Hounds & Tap, opened the Midwest’s one-of-a-kind 12,000 square-foot dog park and tavern because she knew people would love a place to socialize with their best friends – both human and hound. Neuroth also offers dog daycare, boarding and grooming services.

Neuroth explained, “All our team members are trained in dog behavior and body language. Our goal is to protect the health and safety of humans and hounds. We’ve created a great environment for people and their pups to have fun together.”

Many aspects contribute to The Hounds & Tap’s unique approach. “Our dog park is unlike the typical unsupervised dog park. Trained handlers are out there with the dogs at all times. And, proof of each dog’s vaccinations is required to ensure our customers’ experiences are with like-minded people who care about their dogs’ health,” added Neuroth. The Hounds & Tap focuses on positive treat-based reinforcement in a force-free environment. No e-collars, prong collars or training squirt bottles are allowed on the premises. Neuroth takes pride in “our super-clean facility.”

Slanted dog walkway in dog park
Slanted walkway in the outdoor dog park

Wall-mounted televisions surround the 2,500 square foot indoor open play space and adjacent tavern so customers can view their favorite sporting events or shows while their hounds hang out. For health and safety reasons, only locally sourced canned beer, cocktails, and non-alcoholic beverages are sold and no food is available indoors. Food trucks operated by local community members offer burgers, nachos and other tasty treats in The Hounds & Tap parking lot on most warm-weather days and Fridays through Sundays in the winter. 

The 5,500 square-foot outdoor dog park is covered in artificial turf and concrete, so visiting hounds can play in a mud-free environment while climbing agility stairs, bounding across walkways or scaling platforms. 

Neuroth offers an additional 5,000 square feet of space for half-day or full-day care, boarding and grooming because dog care and dog parks “don’t mix.” Her team includes three professional groomers with 10 to 25 years of experience. According to Neuroth, such deeply experienced groomers are extremely hard to find these days. Grooming services are individualized to each dog based on their “size, breed, coat and needs.” For those who prefer to do it themselves, the facility houses a self-serve dog wash costing $20 for a 30-minute session. The Hounds & Tap supplies towels, shampoo and a forced air dryer. You provide the dirty dog.

Community Focus

“Our love, passion and commitment to dogs and to the community is at the core of who we are,” said Neuroth. In addition to supporting local human food and beverage businesses, The Hounds & Tap sells Grafton-based American Natural Premium Market Fresh dog food and Oak Creek-based Stella & Chewy’s dog treats. T-shirts, sweatshirts, hats and For The Love of Drax dog collars are all sourced from local merchants. 

Neuroth’s commitment to the community includes supporting local dog rescues and the Human Animal Welfare Society (HAWS). She explained that recently, her team helped HAWS raise over $100k by matching donations over a designated period and manning a donation call center.

In honor of Women’s History Month, The Hounds & Tap donated to The Women’s Center in Waukesha, whose mission is “to provide safety, shelter and support to empower all impacted by domestic abuse, sexual violence, child abuse and trafficking.” Neuroth commented, “We serve humans as much as we serve dogs. We try to give back.”

Photos of happy dogs
Photos of happy hounds cover hallway walls.

Fun and Friendly Environment

The Hounds & Tap hosts monthly special events in the tavern and dog park, including karaoke, live music, bingo, doga (yoga with dogs), costume parties, dog breed meetups, holiday photos and birthday parties for both hounds and humans.

The hallway leading from the tavern to the outdoor dog park is covered in hundreds of photos taken of happy hounds during their visits. Conveniently located in that same hallway are the human restrooms, appropriately labeled “Setters” and “Pointers.” No explanation is required.  

a dog birthday party
Major (right) celebrating his birthday with Lizzy (left) and Ricky (middle).

During Focus Waukesha’s visit to Hounds & Tap, we were fortunate to be met enthusiastically by Lizzy, Ricky and Major. Major was celebrating his first birthday at the outdoor dog park, so we were glad we arrived with a bundle of ear scratches and belly rubs. 

Neuroth summarized The Hounds & Tap experience by saying, “In Wisconsin, people like to spend time meeting other people with dogs, socializing with other people with dogs and enjoying a drink together.” The Hounds & Tap is the hangout for hounds and humans.