The Adorable Inspiration Behind The Lazy Dog Restaurant Name

If you've ever eaten at the California restaurant chain Lazy Dog, you may have admired some of the handsome hounds that frequent the establishment, or perhaps you even enjoyed a dinner a deux with your own canine companion. Doggos both lazy and active are welcome to dine on the patio, and the Lazy Dog not only offers complimentary bowls of water to its poochie patrons, but also has a pup menu featuring burger and chicken bowls made with brown rice and veggies. 

As long as your dogs are kept on a leash and are able to avoid the "3 B's" (begging, barking, and biting), they will be considered valuable restaurant customers. As you might expect, any restaurant owners so considerate of doggie diners must be pretty fond of man's best friend. While the name of the restaurant predates its dog-friendly policies, there's an actual wagging tail that lies behind the tale of how it came to be.

The OG lazy dog was the founder's family pet

As Lazy Dog founder Chris Simms tells it, some of his happiest childhood memories revolve around the time he and his family spent hanging out in the Rocky Mountains. When he thought of opening his own restaurant, he wanted it to reflect that same "small mountain town vibe." In a 2015 interview with the Los Angeles Times, he revealed the name of that small mountain town: Jackson Hole, Wyoming. According to Visit Jackson Hole, the town has a population of just over 10,000, but gets over 2.5 million visitors each summer. Even with that summertime crowd, though, it maintains a reputation as a pretty chill place. Along with the family, another visitor to the Simm's mountain hideaway was the original "lazy dog" herself, their black Lab Mattie.

In an earlier interview with Foodservice Equipment and Supplies, Simms told the magazine that seeing the dog snoozing by the fire "seemed to personify what we wanted the restaurant to feel like — welcoming, relaxed and warm." He went on to say, "That's where the name came from. If you took the dog out, it would be a pretty serious concept, but the dog in the theme makes it more approachable." That it does, so if you're anywhere near a Lazy Dog, don't just bring home your leftovers in a doggie bag, be a good human and take your best friend out to dinner tonight.