Owners of a Frisco pet store are opening The Pawtio, a restaurant and bar for pets.
Carolina Ferrari, left, and Giulio Ferrari pose for a photograph at The Pawtio on the Square on Frisco, TX, on Feb. 16, 2022. (Jason Janik/Special Contributor)(Jason Janik / Special Contributor)
When you walk into The Pawtio, D-first FW's "pet restaurant," you can expect to find live music, a micro bar, an art gallery, and, of course, high-quality gourmet food for pets and their owners.
The Pawtio, which will open on March 12, 2022 on the corner of Frisco Square Boulevard, will offer a unique experience in which animals can consume a full, holistic, and balanced meal ranging from appetizers, entrees, and desserts to pet-friendly beverages known as "lickers." When their pets eat at home, their owners can browse and purchase art while listening to live music from local musicians and DJs. Samba, a talking and dancing macaw, even greets visitors. He might even do a trick for you if you're lucky.
Giulio and Carolina Ferrari (affectionately known as "The Rave Mom and Dad of Dallas") are no strangers to the pet market. The couple has owned and operated The Paw Depot, a pet store in Frisco Square approximately a block away from The Pawtio, for the past 12 years. They've united their passions for music, art, food, and animals to start a new enterprise. Think of The Pawtio as a collaborative pet restaurant adventure where retail meets entertainment and dining.
There isn't another spot in D-FW where you can see incredible art, listen to wonderful music, talk to friends, sit, stay, sip, and feed your dog a bone... You can have a full-course meal if you like, Giulio continues.
The Ferraris have always wanted to create a space where they could be creative while also having a good time. They think that a good retail experience should engage all five senses in order to leave a lasting impression. This is referred to by Giulio as "positive trauma," which is also the title of a docuseries he is developing.
All animals and humans are welcome at The Pawtio, which the Ferraris hope to be a nonjudgmental, comfortable space for everyone to connect. The area, which was once home to Tavern on the Square, has now been transformed into a dine-in pet sanctuary. It also naturally attracts a large number of individuals who exercise and walk their dogs.
Everything is created and brainstormed collectively. We didn't hire a staff to execute it; everything in Pawtio was created by Carolina and me, Giulio explains. Every single detail that has gone up has been done by us, from the chandeliers to the wallpaper and menu items, to every single detail that has gone up.
Inside, the decor is bohemian-chic with a hint of Tulum. Inside the restaurant and on the terrace, there is seating and cushioned furniture for both pets and people, and there are flashes of blue throughout the place, including the feathery chandeliers.
According to Carolina, dogs perceive the color blue more than other hues. Carolina explains, "We wanted to develop something that was a contemporary combination of present day design with bursts of blue into the aesthetics for the dogs. It allows them to eat in a much more calm, quiet environment.
The Ferraris had a difficult time getting their concept across. The Ferraris ultimately received final approval after weeks of debating health and safety issues with the City of Frisco concerning a dining space for pets and humans, as well as winter weather delaying additional inspections.
"It's never easy to be the first to do something. It was quite difficult for me to get this notion accepted by the city, Giulio explains. In order to have my business concept accepted, I had to talk to a lot of city council members, technicians, and the head of the health department."
The Ferraris produce all of the menu items sous vide in-house. Everything on the menu is "healthy and functional," according to Giulio. The meal is human-grade, but it's balanced for dogs and cats, with a combination of amino acids and meats. It's not tasty for us, and it's not prepared for human consumption, Giulio explains, but the pets really enjoy it.
GAP (humanely raised and Good Agriculture Practices) certified meats are also available. Carolina explains, We really went out of our way to source from some of the greatest manufacturers in the United States so that we could offer nutritious, balanced meals on the menu."
The Pawtio's drink menu includes a range of "cocktails" dubbed "lickers," a witty play on the term liquor. The drinks are all beneficial nutrients, Carolina explains. They're a healthy enjoyment for your pet.
They'll also be serving sliders and burgers prepared with coconut oil, organic parsley, spinach, broccoli, squash, pumpkin, and flax seeds, all served over a pumpkin puree made with coconut oil, organic parsley, spinach, broccoli, squash, pumpkin, and flax seeds. Because there will be no bread, the Ferraris call the burgers "Animal Style" (a pun on In-N-secret Out's menu item).
The Pawtio offers a variety of desserts and delicacies to round out the menu. They have a frozen yogurt machine on the premises with flavors like cheddar and bacon and pumpkin and cinnamon. The yogurt is created with goat milk and goat cheese, and it's ground with bacon bits. A "Pupcake," CBD cookies, and Goat Milk Panna Cotta are among the other treats available.
According to Frisco's health rules, the Ferraris cannot cook for people because the Pawtio kitchen is solely dedicated to manufacturing pet food. Instead, outside, there will be food trucks or stalls serving a variety of human street cuisines. Salvadorian pupusas, Brazilian coxinhas, Sri Lankan samosas, and Argentinian empanadas will be available from the food trucks.
The Pawtio will also have a small beer garden with a selection of local beers, kombucha on tap, and unique bottled cocktails outside.
The Ferraris are no strangers to animals and food. Carolina grew up in both Spain and Brazil, working at her family's restaurants. Giulio would immerse himself in the restaurants after the pair met in 1999, learning how to prepare real Spanish and Brazilian foods. In 2001, they opened a pet store in Brazil, sold it, and relocated to the United States in 2003.
When they're not working, the Ferraris like throwing parties and DJing at raves. The Pawtio will have an art gallery featuring local artists and 3D printing of pet images, as well as daily live musical performances ranging from live jazz to Brazilian pagode to samba music.
It's not simply entertainment, Giulio explains, it's 'EDUtainment, since we're teaching the people. It's tailored cultural entertainment that brings elements of the world into Frisco that we've visited.
The Pawtio, according to Carolina, is more than just a company. We've been through a lot as a community in the previous couple of years, and we all need to recover. There aren't enough venues to perform that healing, she says. Pets and food help individuals let go of their barriers, while art and music let them connect and heal. All of these things have assisted Giulio and me in healing from all of our life's scars and tragedy.
For a dog's stomach and digestive system, the Pink Martini is a probiotic mixture of goat milk, cranberry, and apple cider vinegar, topped with ginger and cinnamon. The Old Fashioned Yeller is a collagen, cartilage, and broth blend that supports a dog's hips and joints. The Hulk, which is prepared with goat milk, kale, turmeric, and quinoa, and Jello Shots, which are made of gelatinous bone broth, are two other probiotic drinks.
A goat cheese platter, fermented pig feet, duck eggs, and "Pupcorn" will be among the appetizers.
Little chunks of Tibetan yak cheese that resemble kernel corn are known as "pupcorn. When you microwave them, the moisture expands, and they turn into a cheese puff. "It's safe for human ingestion, Giulio explains, but it doesn't have much of a taste. However, dogs adore it, because it's lactose-free by nature.
Raw tartare alternatives will be available for the dinners, with raw beef, duck, or rabbit depending on the season. Meatloaf, beef stew, and chicken masala will also be available at the Pawtio. Beef, beef liver, tomatoes, green peas, carrots, and potatoes make up the meatloaf, which is seasoned with thyme and parsley. Quinoa, chicken liver, sweet potatoes, spinach, apples, and kale will be used in the chicken masala.
Dogs like a diet that contains beef, cow heart, beef liver, and beef lungs, Giulio explains. That's why this is dog food, and even though we use human-grade components, we don't use preservatives or artificial substances, and everything is whole, organic, and natural.