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Coming soon to Boylan Heights: The Yard Cafe & Dog Park

Taylor White, a multidisciplinary Raleigh artist, is turning a portion of her family owned Boylan Heights property into The Yard, a bar, cafe, and off-leash dog park.

A rendering of The Yard dog bar featuring a bunch of people walking dogs surrounded by trees and a building.

But what was once a simple idea has turned into a beautifully, thoughtfully designed project with a secret garden feel.

You might be familiar with the name Taylor White, or at least have seen her mural work artfully plastered on buildings like The Willard Rooftop Lounge, but the Raleigh artist has another trick up her sleeve. Meet The Yard, a bar, cafe, and off-leash dog park coming soon to the historic Boylan Heights neighborhood.

White is creating a safe, welcoming, and healthy environment on her family-owned property for all Raleighites and their furry companions to be able to eat, drink, socialize, and play comfortably.

The tucked-away property has been in White’s family for 100 years. In 2013, the multidisciplinary artist turned what was once her family’s coal and oil distribution center into her studio + additional rentable art studio spaces, which currently houses five local artists.

The industrial backyard space of White’s property wasn’t being fully utilized, until an idea sparked from a trip to a dog bar in Atlanta with her sweet pit mix Minna. But what was once a simple idea has turned into a beautifully, thoughtfully designed project with a secret garden feel and plenty of greenery.

A girl bending down high fiving her brown dog in an industrial yard.

White adopted her sweet brown pit mix from Underdog Ranch five years ago.

Photo by Jamie Robbins (JME Photography)

White leaned into local experts like Jen Wagner with Prospect Landscape Architecture, Courtney Evans with Tactile Workshop, and Luke + Leah-Craig Perkins, and Ross Massey of Swift Partners to help bring her vision to life.

“I want this to be a place that feels good to be at and contributes to your overall sense of well-being,” said White.

There will be two shipping containers for food + drink with a temperature-controlled covered patio and a tree-lined 10,000 sqft fenced-in mixed terrain dog park.

The dog park section will be membership based to ensure pets have up-to-date immunization records and will be monitored by trained staff members called Rovers. Members will also have access to a free pet wash station.

The cafe will offer simple yet elevated fare with clean, well-sourced ingredients (think: hearty bowls, smoothies, and sandwiches) and the bar will serve liquor + beer.

Sustainability and the well-being of both pets + their humans are the heart of The Yard’s values. “My friends who run Raleigh Raw have been a really great model for how things could be,” White told RALtoday — she also praised Tyler Helikson, founder of clean eats spot Happy + Hale.

“I’ve been so impressed by the amazing community support — from other restaurant owners eager to offer advice and guidance, to members of the neighborhood and broader community who’ve offered services and support,” White told RALtoday.

The Yard’s mission page reads: “We believe that a healthy future for people, pets, and the planet starts right here in your backyard” — we can’t wait to start playing fetch in this safe new space with our four-legged friends.

With plenty of upcoming murals scheduled and The Yard’s groundbreaking tentatively planned for March, White has a busy spring ahead. Sit and stay tuned for more updates on The Yard, located at 1115 W. Lenoir St.

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