Coffee And Community

It's been over two months since Urban Dog Coffee reopened its refurbished doors on Oak Lawn, and the renovated digs are well-worth a visit. The café now includes two rooms of tables, plush chairs and free wireless in a space complete with paintings by local artists and music by local musicians.

"We wanted this coffee shop to represent the community that we're in and be a place the community would feel was theirs," says Brady Cottle, who opened the cafe in October with his partners, the owners of neighboring City Pet Supply and the Dog Lofts.

For more than a decade Cottle worked for various area non-profits and did stints at Starbuck's to supplement the family income. In a sense, Urban Dog combines his love of coffee, art and community service. He sells croissants, tarts and cookies made by Deep Ellum's Samantha Rush of Patisserie Pastry Boutique and Cake Salon and says a minimum of seven percent of the profits are donated to local non-profits such as Legacy Counseling Center, which provides support and services for those suffering from AIDS. In addition, customers who bring in donated items such as clothing or paper towels for the Santa Can get $1 off their drink through the end of December.

As he winds up his first quarter in business, Cottle remains upbeat. "It would be overstating it to say it's going great," he says. "But week after week we see an incremental increase in business, and that's exciting."

--Megan Feldman