South Austin Small Business January 10, 2022

Work-Life Balance With Puppies and Beer

Getting to know my community continues to be one of the major perks I enjoy as a Realtor. This blog allows me to share conversations I’ve had with local business owners and individuals regarding their desired impact on the community and their hopes for the city.

South Austin’s Growing Entertainment District

Where in South Austin can you meet up with your friends and fur babies alike? Look no further than The Watering Bowl, located off of FM1626. This dog park offers local craft beer, hard seltzer and wine, with ample seating and plenty of space for the pups to romp and play. 

Owner Leslie

Owner Leslie Paetschow

As our housing market continues to push new homeowners further into the outskirts of our city limits in search of affordability, entrepreneurs are finding empty niches and new opportunities to explore their dreams. It only makes sense that as Menchaca Rd matures into it’s own entertainment district, a space has been created for man’s very best friend.

Locally grown establishments such as Lustre Pearl, Moontower, South Austin Beer Garden, Armadillo Den and The Hive continue to flourish along Menchaca Rd.  As a resident of the area, I absolutely love seeing these venues succeed. New, fledgling businesses in our area will indeed reap the rewards of this soaring residential real estate market… that is, IF we support them. And you should. 

“To be a space where anyone can think and love like a dog: in the moment and unconditionally”.

Leslie Paetschow, owner and founder, states The Watering Bowl’s mission is “to be a space where anyone can think and love like a dog: in the moment and unconditionally”. 

Given her mission statement, I asked Leslie whether they would ever add a coffee bar for people who want to work while their dog plays. Or if that would take away from ‘being in the moment’. 

Leslie responded that “If patrons come to the dog park to work while their dog gets some energy out, and it allows time to unplug and have fun in other ways, outside of the park, then so be it! So long as somehow, someway, the pups are happy and tired, and patrons are able to get the work/life balance we all need, we are game for it.” 

We have our sights set on a coffee truck that really knows what they are doing. Because truth be told, we love beer. And that’s our specialty. So we are happy to let someone who’s specialty is coffee run with that. 

Leslie is the sole owner, and a first time entrepreneur. She has been in Austin for 5 years now. But she was born in Chicago, and raised in Forth Worth, TX. 

Work Life Balance

Dan, Jefferson and Me

If It Is An Animal, I Will Cuddle It

Me: Have you been a dog enthusiast your whole life? 

Leslie: I’ve always been a huge animal lover. And I have always been known to rescue strays or injured animals. Dogs are my favorite, but if it is an animal, I will cuddle it. 

Me: Where were you when you decided to make this dream a reality?

Leslie: Well, earlier this year, the company that I worked for was acquired. And I was no longer needed. The company was my whole life and I had so many friends there. It was a difficult separation for me. 

Deciding to take a road trip, I had no plans on where to go, or when to return. I wanted to allow myself the mental space to figure out what was next. During this time I realized I was ready to pursue my dream.

To create this space meant also using it as a platform to help others achieve a work/life balance. Being permanently burnt out myself, and knowing so many others like me, this felt like the perfect avenue to help people practice being present. Dogs have an amazing way of helping us do that.  

Me: Was it difficult finding the right location for a dog park?

Leslie: Oh yeah! Between the size of land, the zoning in Austin and finding a landowner that was OK with a bunch of dogs running around… it wasn’t easy.  

The Dog Park

Ample Seating and Space to Play

This Felt Like The Right Spot

Me: Why did you choose Manchaca to open your dog park?

Leslie: The trees! Have you seen our live oak trees? Between the trees and an accommodating landlord, this felt like the right spot. 

Me: Who is your typical everyday patron?

Leslie: Dog lovers and beer enthusiasts! Our patrons are all here because they love their dogs. They want what’s best for their dogs, which is exercise and play time. 

Me: Do you have plans to expand your menu to liquor?

Leslie: We plan to introduce cocktails within the next few months. But they will be wine, seltzer or champagne based to start. If we receive enough feedback that hard liquor cocktails are a must, we are open to expanding. 

Me: Do you plan to have inside seating or retail space? 

Leslie: Long term, yes! Right now we are trying to tackle the food and coffee truck. But we do plan to expand with an indoor seating option in the future. 

Parties And PupCakes

Me: What type of special events do you host here? 

Leslie: We host Birthday Pawties! We have a flyer with options for hosting a Private Pawty, but you can also just reserve a table. We offer decorations and locally baked PupCakes. In addition to this, we are getting together a schedule for training classes, which will be available soon by Laura Fennell with Fuzzy Matters. And Pup Trivia as well as a number of other fun events!

Me: What other changes should we expect to see at The Watering Bowl in 2022?

Leslie: We will be installing a splash pad and permanent sunshades over the patio in the coming months. We’re adding a food truck and coffee truck by the check-in window. And we are focused on increasing the parking in the back of our lot!

Birthday Pawty

Rejoice For The Hustlers And The Doers Who Walk Amongst Us

As always, I encourage people to frequent our local, neighborhood, independently owned businesses. These are dreams made reality by the hustlers and the doers who walk amongst us. I can’t wait to see what Leslie will do moving into the new year.

Check out this budding business in 2022 and see if it’s the key to achieving your work/life balance!

Location: 820 FM-1626 Austin, TX  78748

Monday – Friday: 2PM – 10PM
Saturday & Sunday: 10AM – 10PM