During Flavors of Brazil's recent visit to Rio de Janeiro, on a side street in Rio's Copacabana neighborhood we came across a newly opened establishment called Pet Delícia. A sign outside proclaimed it to be Rio's first dog restaurant. Before any animal lovers get their hackles up, the restaurant doesn't serve dogs to humans, it serves the dogs themselves. This is a space where canine lovers can take their beloved pets for a delicious lunch or dinner, served in style at the restaurant, or where they can buy premade and frozen doggie dinners to take home to Bowser, or Fido, or Fifi.
The restaurant had only recently opened when we passed by - it opened in December 2010, with, according to a business column in O Globo newspaper, a capitalization of $R500,000 or about USD $300,000. There are already plans afoot, apparently, to open a branch in São Paulo in the near future.
The restaurant serves four dishes, each featuring a different protein - beef, chicken, lamb or fish. According to the Pet Delícia website, the advantages that restaurant dining affords a dog include a meal that is 100% natural, free from preservatives and coloring agents, that includes omega oils #3 and 6 and is full of vitamins and minerals, and finally "perfeita para cães com paladar exigente" (perfect for dogs with demanding palates). Depending on the size of the portion, the price ranges from R$6 (USD $3.50) to R$25 (USD $15.00) per serving, fresh at the restaurant, or frozen for consumption in the doghouse.