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Can I Take My ESA Dog To Dave & Buster’s?


Ever wondered if you can bring your emotional support dog to Dave & Buster’s? You’re not alone! The idea of enjoying some arcade games and delicious food with your furry friend sounds like a blast, doesn’t it? But before you grab that leash and head out the door, it’s key to know the rules.

According to the ADA, you can’t be charged extra for bringing your ESA dog into a restaurant, but there are some caveats. If your pup decides to channel their inner Tasmanian Devil and causes damage, you might be on the hook for repairs. And remember, if your dog starts acting like they own the place, causing disruptions or worse, you might face a temporary or permanent ban.

ESA Access Rights in Public Places

Emotional Support Animals (ESAs) provide comfort and support to their owners. Knowing your rights can help avoid issues when visiting venues like Dave & Buster’s.

Distinctions Between ESAs and Service Animals

Service animals and ESAs serve different roles. Service animals, usually dogs, receive specialized training to perform tasks for people with disabilities. These tasks might include guiding those with vision impairments or alerting individuals with hearing impairments.

In contrast, ESAs don’t undergo specialized training. They offer emotional support just by being present. While service animals receive full access rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), ESAs don’t have the same privileges. ESAs can be allowed in many places but aren’t guaranteed access everywhere.

Overview of Public Access Rights for ESAs

Public access for ESAs isn’t as comprehensive as it is for service animals. The ADA doesn’t grant ESAs the same access. However, many businesses like restaurants or entertainment venues may still allow ESAs as a courtesy.

Even without ADA protection, the Fair Housing Act and Air Carrier Access Act offer some rights to ESA owners, letting them live in housing or fly without extra fees. For places like restaurants, including Dave & Buster’s, the decision to permit an ESA often depends on individual policies. Always check with the venue before your visit.

Recognize the distinction and respect the policies in place to ensure a smooth experience for you and your ESA.

Bringing Your ESA to Restaurants and Entertainment Venues

Bringing your emotional support animal (ESA) to restaurants and entertainment venues requires understanding the different rules that apply compared to service animals. While ESAs provide essential emotional support, they don’t have the same access rights.

General Rules for ESAs in Dining and Recreation Facilities

ESA rules vary by establishment. Federal law doesn’t mandate restaurants and recreation facilities to accommodate ESAs. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) grants specific rights to service animals but not to ESAs. However, individual facilities may choose to allow ESAs under certain conditions. Always contact the venue beforehand to confirm their policy regarding ESAs.

Employers and venue owners may request to see documentation like a letter from your therapist stating your ESA’s role in your mental health treatment. Remember, restaurants can charge for any damage caused by your ESA but not for regular maintenance when the same policies apply to other customers.

Specific Considerations for Entertainment Arcades

Entertainment arcades like Dave & Buster’s may have distinct policies regarding ESAs, given their high-traffic nature. Contact the specific location in advance to ensure they permit ESAs. Some arcades might only allow fully trained service animals, adhering strictly to ADA guidelines.

Note that certain locations enforce curfews, typically requiring attendees under 21 to leave by 11 pm on weekends. Verify if such policies apply to your desired location. Additionally, following any dress codes is essential to avoid entry issues.

Your ESA shouldn’t disrupt others’ experiences. If there’s an incident, such as your ESA behaving aggressively, the venue reserves the right to remove the animal. However, bringing in service animals is generally more straightforward, as they have recognized access rights under the ADA.

In essence, preparation and communication with the venue ensure a smooth visit for you and your ESA.

Case Study: Can I Take My ESA Dog to Dave and Busters?

Visiting Dave and Buster’s with your Emotional Support Animal (ESA) involves knowing their policies and planning accordingly. Below is a detailed look at what you need to consider.

Analyzing Dave and Buster’s Pet Policy

Dave and Buster’s adheres to the guidelines set by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which mandates that service animals be allowed in public spaces. However, ESAs aren’t given the same legal consensus as service animals. To understand if your ESA can accompany you, reach out to the specific Dave and Buster’s location you’ll be visiting. Policies can vary, and obtaining this information beforehand will prevent unexpected issues.

Staff may request documentation verifying your ESA’s status. Always carry an ESA letter from your licensed mental health professional. Be prepared to explain your situation clearly, focusing on how your ESA helps manage your mental health.

  1. Check Policies in Advance: Research or call your chosen Dave and Buster’s location to confirm their stance on ESAs. Verify any additional requirements they might have, including curfews or dress codes.
  2. Carry Documentation: Bring your ESA letter. It helps avoid misunderstandings with staff.
  3. Plan Your Visit Timing: Some locations impose curfews. If you’re under 21, ensure you’re aware of any age-related restrictions, especially on weekends when curfews might be stricter.
  4. Prepare Your ESA: Ensure your ESA is well-behaved in public settings. Disruptive behavior, such as barking or aggressive actions, could result in being asked to leave.
  5. Familiarize Yourself with Facility Layout: Knowing the layout can help you quickly address any issues that might arise with your ESA, like finding exits or less crowded areas if your pet becomes anxious.
  6. Be Respectful of Venue Rules: Follow all venue guidelines to make your visit pleasant for both yourself and other patrons.

By preparing ahead, you can enjoy a stress-free time at Dave and Buster’s with your ESA.


Taking your ESA dog to Dave & Buster’s requires some preparation. First, know the difference between a service animal and an ESA. Service animals have broader access under the ADA, but ESAs might face more restrictions. Ensure you’ve researched Dave & Buster’s policy on ESAs at your specific location. Call ahead to confirm any requirements, such as documentation from your therapist specifying your ESA’s role in your treatment.

Carry all necessary documentation with you. This might include an ESA letter from your licensed mental health professional. Be ready to show this letter if asked, but also be aware that restaurants can’t inquire about your specific disability or demand your dog demonstrate tasks.

Ensure your ESA exhibits appropriate behavior. Poorly behaving animals disrupting staff or patrons can get banned, either temporarily or permanently. If your ESA causes property damage, expect to pay a fee, provided the same policy applies to other patrons.

Being proactive about your visit helps minimize hassles. Familiarize yourself with the venue’s layout for a smoother experience. Respect the rules and cooperate with the staff to ensure a pleasant visit for everyone involved.

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