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Best of New York Services 2004

Best Upscale Pet Store

  • Puppy Love: Dog-grooming reaches obsessive heights at Le Chien's salon. Photo by John Kernick
  • Le Chien

    1044 Third Avenue, near 61st Street, 212-752-2120;

    The truth is, pet stores are often creepy places. The troubling odors, that blacklit back room with the fish tanks, the sad yapping from those little cages—even the most blasé visitor often leaves with the feeling that, pedigree be damned, a shelter adoption is the only way to go. That said, the experience at Le Chien couldn’t be happier. Owner Lisa Gilford is more adoption agent than storekeeper, bringing in puppies from only the best, most humane breeders; she never has more than eight dogs in the store, and they’re penned, not caged. Gilford’s range of services is formidable—the grooming department, complete with shampoo girls and dryers, looks better than a lot of neighborhood hair salons. She does doggy day care and housebreaking, too. Upstairs, there’s a world of pet indulgences, from gingerbread men to pearl necklaces. No wonder her clientele includes obsessive pet lovers like Liz Taylor and Vera Wang, not to mention Lizzie Grubman, who owns a pair of Yorkies named Peanut and Crunch, and reports that “I send them there for grooming, and on Halloween they come back with adorable costumes on.” It really is a dog’s life.

From the 2004 Best of New York issue of New York Magazine

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Other Best Of Guides

So what exactly does “best” mean in a city with thousands of pizza joints, hundreds of celebrity masseuses, and museum-worthy concept shops on every corner? Well, in the case of this, our annual “Best of New York” roundup, there’s a heavy emphasis on what’s new or what has somehow remained virtually unheard of (until now, of course).