The Vic on the Park is one of the most-loved doggie friendly pub in Sydney. Located in Marrickville, it is not only welcoming to canines, but to just about everyone. On their website it says, “Bring your crew, the pooch, the family…even your basketball team…” Perhaps the latter is because a large basketball court is also part of the eatery, but a visit to the pub and you’ll realise that it is truly canine heaven. Some days, up to 30 of the patrons at The Vic on the Park are dogs of all shapes and sizes dining happily with their owners in the colourful back deck.
From day one, The Vic has been all about community. Talking exclusively in an interview with the General Manager, Sarah Lewis, she says perhaps the best thing about being dog-friendly is that “doesn’t matter how busy you are, the stress the job can bring, the people you have to deal with when you walk out onto that deck and see one of our dogs gazing up and wagging their tail everything else is irrelevant. They make the day so much better!” She knows all the regulars by name, and their dogs too. The inner-west pub is surrounded by Marrickville, Stanmore and Newtown, which are all considered to be Sydney’s most dog-friendly surburbs and this is one aspect that inspired The Vic is open doors to canines, Lewis says. “It seems that almost every household now has a dog and what better way to spend an afternoon out on our deck with a beer, friends/family and your best mate. Rescue dogs are very popular in the area and it’s great hearing the stories of how they came into people’s care and the genuine love people have for their dogs.”
The Vic’s numerous collaborations and fundraisers with animal organisations over the years prove that they are more than a dog-friendly pub that has water bowls and Schmacko’s treats always at the ready, but genuine animal lovers who want to raise awareness. Their biggest relationship is with Maggie’s Rescue in co-hosting an annual fundraiser called Muddy Paws Walk where registered teams of doggie and owner start at Sydney Park and end at The Vic.
This year, $13,000 was also raised through dog competitions that The Vic has hosted. Lewis further explains: “We have also started a weekly Doggy Badge Draw we call “The Vic on the Pooch”. For $15 you sign your dog up and they receive a dog tag with their own member number and a doggy bandana. Each Sunday @ 4pm we draw a member number and that pooch wins prizes. The profits (after costs) from the $15 goes to Maggie’s. We also hold meat tray raffles with all proceeds going to Maggie’s.” In addition to this, The Vic held a grey hound adoption information night, with local Labor MP Jo Haylen to raise money and awareness, as there will be as many as 19,000 greyhounds needing homes following their race ban this year.
Lewis aims to create a great dog-friendly community, especially in the society we now live in commonly sees our four-legged friends as part of our family. She states that “a lot more can be done” in order to improve Australia’s dog friendly status and compare this to her European experiences where they are known for their open door dog policies, “I love when I am in England for example, sat at a little corner pub with the locals and their dog.”
Lewis even admits, “To be honest, the dogs are sometimes better behaved then the patrons!”
Vic on the Park
2 Addison Road,
Marrickville NSW 2204