Did you have any idea that over 20 cat cafés have opened in the United States in the last year? And soon, New York will be home to two of them. Koneko, NYC’s latest kitty-themed coffee shop, is slated to open next month on the Lower East Side. Named after the Japanese word for “kitten,” the new spot will be a place to hang out with feline friends and possibly even take one home with you.
Koneko is modeled like so many other cat cafés. It’s a venue for cat lovers—and the kitten curious—to hang out, relax, and skritch some furry ears. And, should you happen to find the love of your nine lives, you can even take him or her home. All of the cats at Koneko will be up for adoption.
The owners plan to serve food and drinks on-site, which might be puzzling to Health Department folks, although there will be a glass dividing wall between the dining space and the carousing-with-fuzzballs space. Founder Benjamin Kalb writes on the Koneko blog that the café will “seat 20 and offer a curated menu, including expertly brewed Stumptown coffee, a selection of hand-picked teas, house-made Japanese bar snacks, beer, wine, sake, and some crazy good bites from my favorite local bakeries.”
The eatery will also boast an outdoor cat garden, a first of its kind in the city according to Kalb. “It’s not an enclosed space, but we’re building it very specifically to make sure that cats won’t be able to climb the walls and hop the fence and also that cats in the neighborhood won’t be able to jump in,” he told Gothamist. “The top of it is exposed, but we’re really making a strong effort to ensure that it’s safe.”
Koneko follows in the paw-steps of NYC’s first cat café, Meow Parlour, which opened last December. There, reservations had been booked months in advance and many folks are still scratching at the door to get in. Koneko will offer a second option for kitty lovers, since its location is just about half-a-mile away.
Of course, the hippest way to prove your feline allegiance is to make a reservation at the place, which isn’t even open yet. Just $15 will score you one hour of kitty cuddles. Once the cats hear about that, they’ll certainly meow for joy.
Images via Koneko, renderings via CO-Office