Help Save Boris & Horton, The Beloved NYC Dog Cafe, From Closing · The Wildest

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You Can Help Save Beloved NYC Dog Cafe Boris & Horton

They need your help so they don’t close their doors. Here’s what you can do.

by Sio Hornbuckle
February 23, 2024
dog at Boris & Horton  
Courtesy of Boris & Horton
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If you’re a dog parent in New York City, you’ve heard of Boris & Horton. Maybe you even threw a “Gotcha Day” party there or brought your pet to one of their comedy shows — or maybe you actually found your dog there at one of their rescue events. For spoiled pups and pet-obsessed socializers, Boris & Horton has been the “it spot” since it opened its doors in 2018. The vegetarian cafe — which serves coffee, beer, wine, snacks, and a variety of dog treats and toys — isn’t just any coffee shop: It’s a dog-friendly community hub for everything from pup-safe ice cream parties to pet portrait tattoo pop ups. 

But a week ago, New Yorkers got some upsetting news: Boris & Horton shared they’d be closing both their East Village and Williamsburg locations. In an Instagram post, they announced that their last day in business would be this upcoming Monday, February 26. 

The community has rallied around the cafe in the past week, desperate to find a way to save the invaluable space. And thanks to the overwhelming response, there’s hope. Boris & Horton is planning to stick around — but they need your help. In an Instagram post this morning, the father-and-daughter co-founders, Logan Mikhly and Coppy Holzman, announced their plan to make another go at staying open.

Read below for how you can help save this special NYC spot. If you aren’t local, please consider helping and amplifying this message. All dog parents know the importance of having a safe, happy place to bring their pups — plus, you might want to visit someday.

How you can help 

Following an outpouring of support from customers, the co-founders of Boris & Horton, Mikhly and Holzman, decided to make a go at saving both locations. Within the next three days, they are asking you to make straight donations at the link here. Their goal is to raise $250,000 to tackle the repairs needed in their East Village location. Once repairs are made, they plan to fully reopen with additional support staff. 

Once they reopen, they’ll offer Boris & Horton subscription boxes, which will include monthly deliveries of Boris & Horton merchandise. “We’re hoping that people will sign up for those and we’ll be able to have another revenue stream that supports the cafe,” Mikhly says.

The initial announcement

Mikhly and Holzman didn’t make the decision to close the cafe lightly. The business had been struggling to bring in enough revenue for their overhead for a while, and the East Village location was in need of repairs. Despite their love for the cafe and the community it had fostered, they decided to shut down. “It was strictly a business decision,” Mikhly tells The Wildest. 

When they posted about closing the cafe on Instagram, they thought their minds were made up. “We truly could not have been more decided,” Mikhly says. “We did the official channels for notifying our landlords, we notified our insurance company, we were done.”

The community’s response

What happened next was something the founders didn’t expect: an overwhelming outpouring of support from Boris & Horton’s customers. “We knew people were going to be sad and it was going to feel a little bit abrupt, but we were absolutely blown away by peoples’ response to it,” Mikhly says. “It feels like they’re ready to mobilize and this thing is kind of bigger than just Coppy and myself. It’s been beyond our wildest dreams in terms of support.” 

The Boris & Horton Instagram was flooded with comments from heartbroken patrons — and many of the commenters were eager to find tangible ways to help. One customer started a GoFundMe for the cafe, which the Boris & Horton founders asked be dedicated entirely to the staff rather than to fund a reopening. Outside of social media, people started buying merchandise and visiting the cafe in droves. “We were very dead set on closing and then I guess this past weekend being in the stores with all of our customers, we’re like, ‘I guess we owe everyone another shot,’” Mikhly says. “We have to figure this thing out because it’s a community space and small business where those things are dying out.”

It became clear to Mikhly that Boris & Horton wasn’t just one cafe out of the hundreds in the city. People had connected with the space in a special way — and they were devastated by the possibility of losing it. Jolie Dudley, a comedian who runs Must Love Dogs and Comedy, a show that raises money for animal rescues, has been collaborating with Boris & Horton for two years.

“I think at face value people see, ‘Oh, it’s just a coffee shop where people can go with their dogs; it’s just another business,’ but to actually go there and actually be a part of this community, it really means so much more,” she tells The Wildest. “I think especially after quarantine, it really was a central hub for people to come out and reconnect again. It means so much to so many different people.”

One Boris & Horton customer, Mel, says the space was integral in helping her — and her pup — adjust to life together. “When we first got our pup, we couldn’t leave him alone for very long,” she says. “It was a total dream to have a spot like Boris & Horton. It gave us and [our dog] Oscar a space to hang that wasn’t an apartment, park, or dive bar.”

Dudley stresses that Boris & Horton’s work for animal rescue is vital, too. “They have so many fundraisers and events that benefit animal rescue. It’s such an important place for us to gather, but it does important work, too,” she says. “Losing these spaces impacts the New York City dog community, but it also impacts the city as a whole. It’s going to impact our shelters and our rescues.”

Mikhly and Holzman feel optimistic about Boris & Horton’s future — and knowing the dedicated support system they have around them, they have every reason to be. “It feels like we’ve made a bigger impact than we realized and this is really important to people,” Mikhly says. “In hindsight I wish that we’d told people earlier that we needed their support.”

Sio Hornbuckle

Sio Hornbuckle is a writer living in New York City with their cat, Toni Collette.

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