arts and culturefeatured-art-and-cultureIssue 27

Barkin’ Dog Grill Supports Local Artists

By Jacqui D. Sinarle

If a dog is man’s best friend, then Barkin’ Dog Grill has got to be the local artist’s best friend.

Not only does Barkin’ Dog exhibit the work of local artists, it also showcases performances by area musicians and poets.

“We’ve been featuring local musicians and artists since Day 1,” said Hannibal Yadegar, who opened the downtown Modesto café with his wife Evin in 2004. “We added poets in 2008.”

Barkin’ Dog provides a family oriented, child-friendly environment where kids, parents, and grandparents can gather, order a burger and a shake, and spend time together enjoying a variety of local artwork and entertainment.

“We feature a different local artist every month,” Yadegar said. “Since art is rotated on a regular basis, it gives a new look to our place and something different for our customers to look forward to. We’ve had nothing but positive feedback.”

Exhibits are coordinated by Betty Barnes with the Peer Art Recovery Project, a Modesto-based art collective that’s led by CEO John Black and operates a gallery at 1222 J St.

Yadegar is open to all different types of art as long as it can be presented in his space. “We’ve had art created by children all the way up to art from highly regarded professionals,” he noted. “Artists benefit by receiving increased exposure, and customers often purchase art by the time the month is up.”

Barkin’ Dog is a longtime supporter of the Downtown Modesto Art Walk and a popular stop during the event, held on the third Thursday of every month from 5 to 9 p.m.

Patrons also enjoy live local music at Barkin’ Dog on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

“Certain artists perform on a rotating basis,” Yadegar said. “Other local musicians who are interested in playing here can drop off a CD or come by and talk to me personally.”

A calendar of featured artists and musicians is available on Barkin’ Dog’s website.

Poets are also welcome.

“We have poetry jams every second Tuesday of the month,” Yadegar noted. “They are directed by Gillian Wegener, who brings in local poets in addition to poets from Sacramento and surrounding areas. After the guest speaker presentation there is an open mic poetry reading that is open to the public.”

Local artists of all kinds have become an important part of Barkin’ Dog’s business model, Yadegar said.

“For example, when we hire and pay musicians to play here, their fans come to Barkin’ Dog to hear them and are introduced to the restaurant,” Yadegar explained. “Through local artists, musicians and poets, we have been able to build our customer base and create sales for our business.”

“I take pride in being part of the local scene, whether it involves poetry, painting, or music,” Yadegar added. “Through these mediums we’re contributing to the community, and I believe that what you give to the community you get back in some form or another.”

For more information about Barkin’ Dog Grill or to view upcoming artists, visit

If you’re interested in displaying artwork or performing at Barkin’ Dog: artists: call or text the Peer Recovery Art Project at 209-985-0467.

Musicians: visit Barkin’ Dog Grill at 940 11th street, Modesto, and drop off a CD or ask for Hannibal.

Poets: attend Barkin’ Dog’s Open Mic Poetry Night on the second Tuesday of the month.

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