You can’t go to Coffee Hound without overhearing or reading at least one dog pun.
The Bettendorf cafe’s tagline is “bark and brew,” recent flavored coffees include the Bulldog Butter Rum and Peanut Butter Pup, and owner Beth Aronson is quick to call her shop “paw-some.”
“Every coffee shop has to have a niche,” she said. “We've always had a love for dogs and 'hound' means you like to drink a lot of coffee, which just fits us.”
Aronson and her husband, Greg, go all-out with the dog theme, and that goes for the cafe's upcoming event: a “Howl-O-Ween” party from 5-8 p.m. Friday.
You can sample “Pugkin” coffee, wine and moonshine and rum drinks from Artisan Grain Distillery. Plus, a photographer will take pictures of dogs dressed in their best Halloween costumes.
The event is the latest effort by Coffee Hound to be “more than just a coffee shop,” she said.
The couple opened the original Coffee Hound, the drive-through cafe on Brady Street, in 1999, back when “the Quad-Cities didn’t really have a coffee culture,” she said. Now, other owners license the Davenport and East Moline Coffee Hounds from the Aronsons. The Bettendorf location, 3451 Devils Glen Road, opened in 2008, and the East Moline location, 3537 Archer Drive, opened in 2010.
Last year, the Aronsons collaborated with Green Tree Brewery to release a coffee-infused beer. They now have a tap serving a handful of Quad-City craft brews, launch a new artisan coffee blend every other month, host wine and coffee tastings and serve food flights.
“There are people who would like to be here at 6 a.m. for coffee and at 6 p.m. for a glass of wine,” she said. “We can be that comfy, familiar place.”
For many customers, Coffee Hound is that kind of place. Baristas often start making an order when they see a familiar car pull in the parking lot. If a regular is going out of town, they’ll call to let Aronson know so she doesn’t worry.
“Probably 70 percent of our customers are regulars," she said. "We want you to walk in here and feel like we're best friends and like we're all one big family."
And even though pets aren't allowed inside Coffee Hound, Aronson has made sure the shop is full of dog-related photos, prints, paintings and pillows, including framed shots of her two Cavalier King Charles Spaniels named Waldo and Louie.
"They say a dog is a man's best friend," Arsonon said. "So, I say the more dog stuff, the better."