Black Dog sees green

Jarrord Purvis, genernal manager of The Black Dog stands by the restaurant's herb garden on the roof top. The restaurant grows it's own herbs during the summer.

The Black Dog is going even greener.

Already offering a number of organic options on its menu, the Island Road restaurant and pub plans on introducing even more green options on top of the menus made from recycled paper, soy-based dyes and herbs from its own season garden.

“We’re hoping next year to build a little green house so we can have a year-round herb garden,” said Jarrod Purvis, general manager of the Black Dog. They also hope to add vegetables to their outdoor garden, itself watered by rooftop rainwater diverted into reservoirs.

All vegetables, as well as the free trade coffee, are 100 per cent organic.

Black Dog tries to use local produce as much as possible, Purvis said. They also serve some organic wines and certified organic beer.

As the restaurant’s fifteenth anniversary approaches on March 15, the Black Dog will be showcasing a few other organic options that it might make a future appearance on its menu.

“Our next menu change will have more dishes on it using organic meat,” Purvis said. “The fifteenth anniversary will be a full house and will be the perfect opportunity to let people know that we are going organic.”

They also use local ordering, since about 75 per cent of their wines are from the Niagara region. And the pub works with suppliers to reduce the amount of waste that comes with packaging.

“We find suppliers are sending us things which are overly packaged and we threaten to cease using them if something isn’t done about that,” Purvis said. “A lot of suppliers have come on board and are trying to change the way they’re doing things.”

Environmentally friendly cleaning products are used as well as biodegradable take-out containers. Serviettes, napkins and toilet paper are made from recycled, unbleached paper, and the lighting is serviced by low-watt bulbs with dimmers.

These are just a few things out of a list of many that the Black Dog does to remain green.

“The world as we know it is in rough shape right now and it’s going to take smart business like this environmentally conscious [restaurant] in order to make a difference,” Purvis said.

This concept began with owners Ken and Kelly Reuter about a year ago with the help of staff.

“I’ve worked here five years and the clientele has changed a lot in the past year,” said Ramona Gellel, a server at the restaurant.

Gellel also said that she was surprised with the number of customers who are pleased with this and even go as far as taking Black Dog’s menus home.

“We also encourage our staff to take the ideas we have implemented home, as well as our customers,” Purvis said.