It’s been less than a year since America’s first “cat cafe” opened in California, but already the trend is making its way to Philly. And if Kristin Eissler has her way, it’ll be here completely by December.
Philadelphia Business Journal recently caught up with Eissler, who hopes to open up her Kawaii Kitty Cafe — Philly’s first cat cafe — this winter, though no location has been secured yet. However, possible spaces in Fairmount, Fishtown, Northern Liberties, and Old City are reportedly being considered.
For the uninitiated, a “cat cafe” is essentially a mixture that is equal parts coffee bar and animal adoption facility. Patrons can pop in, get caffeinated, and, should they so choose, adopt a new pet. Cat Town Cafe is America’s first, and it opened in Oakland, California, in October last year.
The concept itself, though, comes mostly from Japan, where cat cafes first gained popularity. In fact, “kawaii” is Japanese for “cute.”
Eissler, who has partnered with La Colombe and PAWS for Kawaii, hopes to have 10 to 15 cats up for adoption at any given time. According to Kawaii’s Facebook page, the shop will also feature cat merchandise from Philly-based cat toy designers Polydactyl.
Due to health regulations, the adoption section of Kawaii will be separated from the cafe section by a large glass wall. PBJ does note, though, that patrons will be allowed to “get their coffee, and then take it to the feline-friendly” section.”
Eissler says she needs a shop of about 1,200-square-feet for Kawaii, and is currently seeking out spaces to complete the project by December. Seating could accommodate up to 25 visitors.
Additionally, an IndieGoGo campaign to help finance Kawaii’s construction is forthcoming, with Eissler hoping to launch that venture in July.