Zuniga opened the bar in January 2018 after leaving the banking business to pursue his dream of owning a restaurant. The bar itself is a tribute to his Great Dane, Remus, who was “lucky” enough to live 13 years, Zuniga said.
“I’ve built the bar around him, so we welcome dogs here,” he said. “Inside you can bring your dogs on a leash; outside we have the dog area.”
Although the bar acts as a community gathering place, Zuniga said he wants the bar’s culinary options to get customers talking as well. The bar offers various burgers, including a Cuban sandwich—Zuniga’s family recipe—and a Bark Mi Burger, inspired by a Vietnamese customer’s culinary tips.
The lockdown forced the bar to furlough many of its employees, so Zuniga, his wife and his son ran the bar for most of the pandemic, Zuniga said. Despite the hardship, he said the pandemic allowed his food to really shine on its own.
“Yes, it was a very scary experience; yes, we did lose a lot of money,” he said. “But we were able to bring something positive, like exposing my kitchen. Now, we are more of a restaurant than a bar.”
Zuniga said he had hoped 2020 would be a year of reaching new customers and adding space to his bar. Now that 2021 seems to offer more hope, he said he wanted to bring the community back together by bringing games and live music back to the bar.
“I want to be a neighborhood bar and grill where everybody comes in with their kids. We have bingo nights; we have dogs on the patio,” he said. “So I kind of just want to become more of a one-neighborhood family. That’s where I want to be at.”
Lucky Dog Sports Bar and Grill
9440 Louetta Road, Spring
Hours: Sun.-Thu. 11 a.m.-midnight, Fri.-Sat. 11 a.m.-1 a.m.