Is Cafe Bones good? I'm wondering whether or not I should go with non-dog owner friends. I don't know of any off leash areas like this in the inner west Sydney.
I always ask the manager first whether or not I'm allowed to bring my dog to their restaurant. Most of the time, there aren't any signs that it's a dog friendly place, but they allow dogs to be there. Then I find other customers in the restaurant give me odd looks because they find it either weird/awesome to bring a dog to a restaurant. Despite Australia being a "dog-friendly" country, there certainly are lots of laws in place which make it not so dog-friendly in comparison to other countries.
I think dog-owners have less opportunities to bring their dogs to places - which make it an odd appearance once a dog is found sitting under/beside a table while their own eats. It's not seen often enough for it to be accepted by the general public - this is what I think. Most of the time places don't specify (especially on websites) whether it's dog-friendly or not, so I take a bet guess whether it'll likely be dog-friendly or not - and normally it turns out to be dog-friendly.
On another note - I also think the owner needs to be smart and use common sense. If a dog naturally sheds a lot, they shouldn't bring it out to cafes/restaurants on busy days, especially if it's windy. On not so busy times/days, I don't see anything wrong with bringing your best friend out to sip on coffee as they're less of a "bother" to the community.