Dog park coming to Chattanooga Choo Choo

Bode, Bob, Courtney and Adeline Poore pose for a photo Wednesday, July 12, 2017, in front of the Play Wash Pint location in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The business is scheduled to open in late summer.

Bob Poore readily admits that he and his wife Courtney are creating their new business, Play.Wash.Pint, for self-serving reasons.

"In a selfish way, I am doing it for myself," he said. "I want to have a beer and hang out with my dog. I live downtown and I have a stamp-sized yard that is not fenced in."

He's hoping others feel the same way, of course. Play.Wash.Pint also combines two other businesses the Poores currently own - Nooga Paws and Nooga Turf.

The former is a large retail store at 2 North Shore that specializes in pet products. In addition to the foods and supplies they sell there, Nooga Paws offers self-wash stations that feature shampoos created by the Poores. Nooga Turf installs commercial and residential synthetic turf.

The business will be located on a formerly unused piece of land at the corner of Passenger and Johnson streets between Main Street and the Chattanooga Choo Choo. The building on the Choo Choo campus is being converted from hotel rooms to apartments called Passenger Flats and Choo Choo President Adam Kinsey said Play.Wash.Pint will serve as the dog play area for residents, in addition to being open to the public.

"Passenger Flats will have 110 apartments and we already have 98 apartments and the new Bluebird Row (on the site of the old Track 29) will have another 283, so that's almost 500 new units with a potential for between 700 and 800 residents," Kinsey said.

photo Bob, Adeline and Caroline Poore walk with their dog Bode Wednesday, July 12, 2017, at the Play Wash Pint location in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Bob and Caroline are planning to open a combined bar and dog park along Passenger Street near Main Street.
That doesn't factor in the single family housing and new apartments in and around Main Street. Kinsey said opening the road to public traffic and putting the business there is consistent with his vision of reconnecting the once isolated tourist attraction with the nearby neighborhoods.

"I live on the Southside and have four dogs, so I am excited about it," he said.

Play.Wash.Pint will have two self-wash stations located inside near the bar, which will sell craft beers and specialty non-alcoholic drinks. It will be in the old laundry area of the hotel. Play.Wash.Pint will include two stainless wash tubs and supplies like shampoos, towels and grooming equipment. The majority of the 12,500-square-foot business will feature three doggie play zones utilizing synthetic turf.

The first will be a yard for small dogs. The second will be for larger dogs and smaller ones that are able to interact with the bigger breeds. Both will have play equipment suited for dogs. The third will be a long, linear fetch zone.

Poore said the synthetic turf will be a low-cut pile suited for dogs. It has a couple of advantages over natural grass and mulch, which many other dog parks use.

"First, after even a major rain event, we can be up for business and the dogs aren't playing in mud."

The turf will use ZeoFill Pet Turf System as the fill for the synthetic grass. Poore says it helps to control odors and the bacteria from urine and fecal matter.

"We also will use a spray that adds microbes to replace the ones normally found in natural grass."

Admission will be $5 per visit and several pass packages will be available for regular attendees. You can also buy a package that includes admission, a wash and a beer. Poore stresses the business is not designed as a daycare.

"Once in the yard, you are responsible for the dog," he said. "I see it as a time to get off of work, come down and have a beer and hang out with your dog and unwind."

Contact Barry Courter at or 423-757-6354.