Bushwick’s pet scene sure has gotten frisky: the last year has seen the openings of Bushy Tails, Bushwick Pet Superette, the new dog park in Maria Hernandez Park, and now — Bushwick Bark! Dottie Evans, who opened the pet shop last week, hopes to bring a different flavor to the neighborhood.
“A lot of my foods are grain-free, healthy, holistic and organic,” she says. “I also want to push a lot of raw food, because it’s really good for pets. I’m hoping to get some people from Bushwick into it.”
Until last week, Evans, who owns a dog and two cats, lived at the corner of Knickerbocker and Jefferson. Every day she’d walk her Pomeranian past a vacant storefront at 175 Knickerbocker Avenue. At the time, she was working at another pet store, after losing a job in the restaurant industry. “I realized that it made me really happy to be around pets, working with pet owners,” she says. “For a long time, I had to go to the city to get my pet food — it was a hassle.”
With a background in business, Evans had always wanted to start up something of her own, so one day, she stopped in next door to the for-rent property on Knickerbocker to talk to the owner. “He was asking a really fair price and we worked something out,” she says. “It only took about two months to get it up and running, since I knew all the distributors already.”
Right now, Bushwick Bark’s hours are fluid — Evans is thinking she’ll stay open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. One of the store’s most noticeable features is an attention-grabbing self-serve dog wash in the front window. “I put it there on purpose to try and draw attention, but my dog was not very happy,” Evans says. “Some dogs hate showers, but it’s really cute when they don’t.”