Scott Porter, a member of Holy Trinity Parish in Beaverton, holds a dog at his Fido’s Tap House, a family-friendly pub with a charitable mission.
Scott Porter, a member of Holy Trinity Parish in Beaverton, holds a dog at his Fido’s Tap House, a family-friendly pub with a charitable mission.

The dog days of summer have taken on new meaning inside the walls of a Tigard business that opened earlier this year. Fido’s — the world’s first dog tap house, according to owner Scott Porter — could be the dream destination for the hop and pup lover.

Along with wine, cider and 30 kinds of beer, Fido’s has a designated area for rescue dogs. Pubgoers may play with the animals (sans frothy pint) and start the adoption process for a four-legged friend. Since its February opening, nearly 40 hounds have found homes.

Porter, a member of Holy Trinity Parish in Beaverton and a longtime entrepreneur, came up with the idea for the tap house after visiting Purringtons Cat Lounge in Northeast Portland. In an area known for beer-based establishments, Porter thought a similar, dog-inspired business could be a hit.*

He said studies have shown that the dog-loving population also tends to like beer. And according to Nerd Wallet, an online money management tool (which apparently is run by dog people), Portland, with its walkability and dog parks, is the top city in the country for canines and their humans. 

However, the more Porter learned about the scope of animal homelessness and rescue organizations’ struggles to stay fully funded, the more he thought about his business’ potential.

Approximately 3.3 million dogs enter U.S. animal shelters nationwide every year, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. About 670,000 dogs are euthanized annually.

“That’s a pretty horrible statistic when you love dogs,” said Porter, who grew up with Labradors and now has a Yorkie and a papillon. Not surprisingly, he is a big fan of St. Francis.

Porter decided to take his plan for a money-making tap house with the dog-adoption twist and add a broader charitable mission.

“I thought I could do really well with this idea of a tap house with adoptable dogs, but my faith has ingrained in me a sense of altruism, and I felt like my business could be a lot more meaningful,” Porter said.

So in addition to helping dogs find homes, the tap house financially supports organizations such as Oregon Friends of Shelter Animals, which provides the dogs available for adoption. After deducting the expense of the kennels and play area at Fido’s, Porter donates 25 percent of the profits to OFSA and similar nonprofits.

Fido’s is a dog-lovers paradise. Dog-themed images and art fill the high-ceilinged, cheerful space: There’s a long-eared metal figurine by the cash register, photos of presidents with their dogs hang on the walls, and bright paintings of pups are near the door.

“Dogs have this loyalty, this love,” said Porter. But dogs also benefit whole communities, he said. They find drugs and explosives, rescue humans covered in rubble or snow, and even “do really unusual but helpful things for the environment,” said Porter. Dogs in Washington state, for example, help scientists find orca scat.

The adoptable dogs at Fido’s are housed in a visible, walled-off section of the bar, and for $4 you can spend 30 minutes with them.

There is an application and three-day waiting period for guests who would like to bring a dog home. It’s a process to ensure there are no impulsive, beer-inspired adoptions, said Porter.

On a recent afternoon, 29-year-old Vanessa Nelson and her husband, Sean Nelson, 23, ordered beers and looked at the images of dogs printed on tiles above the long row of taps. “This combination of beer and dogs oddly makes sense,” said Vanessa between sips. “The beer’s tasty, too.”

Inside the designated dog area, two children scratched Chihuahua mix puppies and squealed with laughter as the dogs licked their hands.

Asa Koznek, 5, cautiously petted a sleepy puppy, and a smile spread across his face.

“Even if people don’t adopt,” said Porter, “I hope they will be inspired by what the dogs do for our lives, the happiness they bring.”

*Cat people will not be turned away from this establishment.

If you go

Fido’s Tap House is located at 7700 SW Dartmouth St., Suite 110 in Tigard. For more info go to ilovefidos.com.