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Best Coffee House Dog 

Reno at Tchoupitoulas

At the recently opened coffee shop and café Tchoupitoulas just south of the downtown loop, hot beverages are served not with squinty-eyed angst but with a long, toothy grin. Unless he's napping in his portable kennel, Reno, a German wire-haired pointer, pads across the concrete floor to greet each customer as if he's been waiting all day for that particular person to walk through the door -- though maybe it's the other way around. "Some people come in especially to see him," says shop owner Nathan Graham. Reno is not aggressive with his affection; he doesn't jump on anyone but Graham. But he is persistent and will linger at a customer's feet until an order for coffee or gumbo is complete, then follow the patron to the door. The New Orleans native Graham says Tchoupitoulas (pronounced Chop-it-too-las) is derived from a Native American word meaning river people. As far as we're concerned, it means good dog.

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