NEW YORK(CBSNewYork) — Since The Gate opened in 1997, it has been known as a pup-friendly pub.

“On a given winter night, there might be half a dozen dogs in here,” said owner Bobby Gagnon.

Patrons of the Park Slope bar, on Fifth Avenue and Third Street in Brooklyn, told CBS 2’s Weijia Jiang that the dog friendly policy was part of the Gate’s allure.

“That’s why we came here, because it was dog friendly,” Claire Lee said.

But when Claire and Richard Lee went to the bar on Wednesday they noticed a sign posted on the front door that read, “Sorry, no dogs,” even though Dash, their Shiba Enu, had been a regular there for three years.

“Normally he sits inside. He lays on the ground while we have a beverage, but today he slept in the car because they wouldn’t let him in,” Richard said.

Gagnon said that he got a violation from the city’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene last week, after someone called 311 to report that dogs were inside. It was the first complaint in 17 years.

The Health Department said that inspectors never saw an animal inside of the bar before, and that “dogs, and other service animals, are prohibited in any food service establishment.”

The Gate is considered a food establishment, but Gagnon said that he doesn’t serve any food, in fact he doesn’t even have a kitchen.

Now, he wants to know why his bar has to follow the same rules as a restaurant.

“Everything goes from keg to glass. There’s no prep involved,” he said.

But, Stephanie Hui who is severely allergic to dogs said they don’t belong.

“What else is going to happen? Cats in bars? Birds in bars? It just doesn’t seem right,” she said.

Many people disagreed and signed a petition to let dogs like Dash back inside.

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