WALNUT CREEK, Calif. (KGO) --Even though it's currently illegal, many Bay Area restaurants already allow dogs to sit with their owners in outdoor patio areas, but now Gov. Jerry Brown has officially signed the practice into law effective New Year's Day.
This new law would only allow dogs to sit at an outdoor patio area when the dog owner is dining, except for service dogs. Dogs would still not be allowed inside the restaurant and certainly not in the kitchen.
"Well, first of all, let me say hallelujah. We're very happy," said Sunol Ridge Brewery and Restaurant owner Christopher George.
Sunol Ridge is one of many restaurants in Walnut Creek that has a large outdoor patio area for diners.
George says Brown's signing of a new law allowing restaurants to decide whether to allow canines onto the patio is really overdue.
"We have always allowed that to happen even though it wasn't necessarily completely tolerated in some places, but we're very happy that now it allows us to not be looking over our shoulder and allow dog lovers and pet owners to come out to the patio and have some fun," George said.
However, not all patrons are ready to eat up the new regulation.
"I personally have a dog and I love my furry friend. I think there needs to be some limits to the amount of dogs that are allowed on a patio. I just can't be a dog park, in a restaurant," diner Kelli Domke said.
Others say it's the owners, not the dogs, you have to worry about.
"I think that's OK as long as the dog has a responsible owner. I think a lot of people have breeds of dogs they don't understand and can't control," diner Jason Randolph said.
What if the dog leaves a present?
"Well, it would be up to the dog owner to deal with that quickly and effectively," diner Kerri Liljegren said.
The law officially goes into effect Jan. 1, but as you see from the positioning of this water dish, it appears many Bay Area restaurants have already set a place for Fido.