PORTSMOUTH — The menu at Ri Ra Irish Pub and Restaurant has gone to the dogs.
The popular eatery in Market Square recently added the “Moo,” “Cluck,” and a fancy biscuit to its lineup, but don’t get too excited if you’re a human.
These menu items are for dogs only.
The restaurant’s outdoor patio, which caters to customers with dogs, just got more accommodating by offering a new dog menu.
The menu has been well-received by regulars who bring their pooches to the patio because they know it’s a Fido-friendly place.
“People are starting to plan their meals with their dogs,” general manager Scotty Cheever said.
Ri Ra decided to move ahead with the idea for a dog menu after a dog-loving staffer suggested it and head chef Josh Nowak weighed some food options that would be appropriate.
The result was a three-item menu:
• An unseasoned beef patty with peas and carrots ($5);
• A grilled chicken breast with mushroom and red pepper ($4); and
• A mini peanut butter and oat biscuit topped with Greek yogurt and chopped bacon ($1).
Cheever said about half the restaurant patios in the city allow dogs and Ri Ra wanted to create a “sanctuary” for dogs.
“It’s been very, very relaxed. We’ve had no issues whatsoever,” he said.
The dog dining experience has progressed since early summer on the patio that’s set aside for people with dogs, featuring a dog house, water bowls, and a sign that reads, “Dogs welcome. People tolerated.”
“We wanted to see what else we could offer and the dog menu came up as an idea by one of our staff members,” Cheever said.
The restaurant plans to expand the menu in the future, and there’s talk of a pet adoption event.
The $1 biscuits have been the biggest seller on the menu, which is offered daily 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., weather permitting.
Judging by the response from Helen and Ruby, the biscuits are delicious. The two dogs devoured them in seconds when they stopped by with their owners Thursday.
In the past, Nowak said some dog owners would pay full price for a burger off the people menu. “They would just say, ‘Hey, can I just get it for my dog? I don’t care about paying the price,” he said.
Nowak considered making dog doughnuts, but he couldn’t find a mold that he liked so he decided to use a muffin container to make biscuits instead.
Ri Ra employee Becca Anderson said she’s served many of the biscuits and burgers to customers.
“They think it’s adorable,” she said.