It’s not everywhere you can sip Catahoula Coffee and gaze at a world-famous bridge while someone else washes your dog.
And it gets better: Every latte or oatmeal shampoo actually helps support our regional parks in a small way, because Mudpuppy’s Tub & Scrub and Sit & Stay Café are East Bay Regional Park District (EBRPD) concessions. As part of its operating agreement, every EBRPD concession returns some of its revenues to the park district.
Of course, both businesses – collectively and affectionately known to most just as “Mudpuppy’s” – are more than concessions. They’re an integral part of the Point Isabel (PI) experience and community. For years, they have delighted the hordes with service and solace, seven-days-a-week.
The popular café is one of several EBRPD concessions that serve food. The dog wash, though, is unique to PI – and an uncommon perk among public parks anywhere. The original dog-washing outfit at PI was a mobile venture run by two women entrepreneurs who bathed canine clients in a small RV. That expanded to include more tubs and some beverages and baked goods. Then, about 12 years ago, the park district built the current building (which it owns). A former wash-on-wheels employee and his husband co-own today’s café and grooming businesses, which together employ 14 people.
Sit & Stay offers a relatively big menu in a small space, and serves up everything from smoothies to tempeh Reuben sandwiches. Technically it’s all people food, but when a customer admits that a hotdog is for the dog the order typically arrives chopped up into treat-size pieces.
Mudpuppy’s Tub & Scrub, on the other side of the wall, sells dog gear and treats, trims nails, and can wash up to 32 dogs a day. The dog wash also serves as the de facto nerve center of the park, the go-to place when anyone loses a wallet, child, or dog.
Both businesses are open 10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on weekdays and 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on weekends.
As the old Mudpuppy’s sweatshirts used to say: Get to the Point!