You can bring in a miniature horse but you can’t remove pies by yourself at Village Restaurant & Lounge in Marysville.

Miniature horses welcome at Marysville restaurant and lounge

At first glance, the sign by the entrance of The Village Restaurant &Lounge doesn’t grab attention.

It’s not catchy like the green-and-blue “No Vaping” placard or the fluffy pie on the Marysville restaurant’s logo.

It’s just a simple white piece of paper with black text printed on both sides so it can be seen by people coming in for the lunch special or ogling the pies by the register on the way out.

It reads: “Per the Snohomish County Health Department, no animals of any kind are allowed except registered service dogs or miniature horses with the proper identification.”

What’s up with that?

Miniature horses have to start carrying an ID? Since when?

OK, to be serious, horses as service animals?

Finally, I had my shot at some investigative journalism. I called Heather Thomas, the county health department spokeswoman. She laughed, then she did some digging. What she found was news to her.

“That’s correct,” she said. “This provision is aligned with the ADA.”

Even then, not just any old tiny horse gets an invite: The horse must be housebroken (horses can be housebroken? That was news to me). No horseplay allowed. No horses allowed in the kitchen. Stuff like that.

Mini horses are about the same size as big dogs but have advantages as service animals. They live to be about 30. They sleep better in a barn than a bed, so you don’t have to listen to them snore. They have hooves, perfect for shoes … shoes as in sneakers and boots. For real — Google it.

Thomas said she doesn’t know of any mini horse sightings in restaurants around the county.

“It’s like a mythological unicorn,” she said.

The Village might be one of the few places posting a sign welcoming horses.

Hostess Jonnie Finley said customers get a kick out of it.

“Mostly they want to know if it’s for real,” Finley said, “and if we’ve ever had one come in.”

So far, it’s been dogs only.

The homestyle diner is a local landmark. It started out as a “pie house” on old Highway 99 in Marysville in 1937. Lines would form around the restaurant to have a slice of pie, which was featured in the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair.

The Village now sits next to a motel off I-5 by exit 199. In addition to the dining area with booths, there’s a banquet room with statues and a bar with tall tables.

“They’d fit better in the bar,” Finley said of the miniature horses.

Lunch regular Lillian Henry said the horse inclusion clause is fine with her, though “I wouldn’t want to sit next to one,” she said.

Linda Paterson dined recently at the Village with her service dog, Noel, a European lab that alerts her if she’s going to have a seizure.

Henry said her pooch would accept a horse as a dining neighbor under the next table.

“She’d probably just sniff noses with it,” she said.

Does anyone around here have a miniature horse as a service animal?

Give me a call. I know just where to take you to lunch.

Andrea Brown at 425-339-3443; abrown@heraldnet.com. Twitter: @reporterbrown.

More in Life

Expo in Stanwood can help you get ready for the country

The Country Living Expo and Cattlemen’s Winterschool is set for Jan. 27 at the high school.

Curries continues home-cooked Indian cuisine at new location

The restaurant, now located on Evergreen Way, also puts an Indian spin on Northwest cooking.

Want to buy a house this year? Here’s how to start saving up

Here are five ways to help you put 10 percent of your income per year toward buying a house.

Beer of the Week: Scuttlebutt’s Night Circus

The Everett brewery’s head brewer had nightmares trying to dial in its new coffee and coconut ale.

A visit to the nursery helps put you in the mood to garden

Not ready to get back into gardening? January is still a fun time to poke around a garden center.

Plant of Merit: Hybrid oriental hellebores, Lenten rose

What: Oriental hybrid hellebores, with the common name Lenten rose, are a… Continue reading

Long rocking bench with strange fence is for protecting baby

The settee is a furniture form that dates to the 1810s. It’s a lengthened Windsor or Hitchcock chair.

Home and Garden calendar for Snohomish County and beyond

“The Promise of Spring”: Plant sale and workshops by Northwest Perennial Alliance,… Continue reading

‘Portlandia’ ending after eight seasons of lampooning hipsters

The sketch comedy series launched its final season this week.

Most Read