A canine Chipotle? New Barrington business offers restaurant experience for dogs

After walking into Bredwell, you might mistake it for a familiar fast-food franchise.

You might even be tempted to bark out an order.

Meats, garnishes and other ingredients sit in trays at a food bar, ready to be mixed into a meal. Above the serving station are helpful ordering instructions.

The difference is that this restaurant caters strictly to canines

Located at 140 S. Cook St. in downtown Barrington, Bredwell is, in the words of co-founder and Vice President Lisa Shade, a "Chipotle for dogs."

The business opened in mid-November and will host a dog-friendly grand opening from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday.

It offers locally sourced, nutritious meals tailored to each dog's individual needs and preferences. Patrons can customize and purchase individual meals at the store or order a two-week supply of meal kits at

Bredwell was started by David Shade, his daughter Lisa Shade, and daughter-in-law Heidi Shade.

Their dream began in 2019.

"My dad, Heidi and I all wanted to do some type of business venture together," Lisa Shade said. "We all wanted to do something where we could work together, that we were passionate about and maybe make a little hay out of it. So, this is where we decided to lay our chips and came up with this concept."

They worked on refining the concept during the pandemic, encouraged by a trend they were seeing.

"We found through the pandemic that people still were spending on their pets," Heidi Shade said. "That didn't change at all. So that just further accelerated our idea and really strengthened it."

The concept involved operating in a retail space, where customers can have an experience and "make it almost like a restaurant for your dog," Lisa Shade said.

One of the attractions of the downtown Barrington location, they said, was its walkability, as well as community events that draw people and their dogs.

"We saw numerous people walking by with their dogs, which was a big plus for us," Lisa Shade said.

Dining is not allowed on the premises.

When customers enter the store or visit the website, they can fill out a survey on the size, breed, age, temperament and lifestyle of their dogs. Based on that information, Bredwell figures out the proper amount of ingredients and recommends one of four Bredwell Bits - adult, active, healthy weight or senior.

Protein options include chicken, beef, pork and salmon, any of which can be topped with a range of garnishes: vegetables such as peas, carrots and bell peppers; fruits such as dried apples, cranberries and blueberries; and supplementary proteins such as bacon and cheese.

In addition to the custom meals, patrons can purchase premade products, including Peanut Butter Smooches and Training Treats.

  Lisa Shade, right, with chef Kelly Schutte at Bredwell in downtown Barrington. The new business was conceived as a takeout restaurant for dogs. John Starks/
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