Pop-up cat cafe opens to long lines in New York

cat cafe
A woman at the pop-up cat cafe by Purina One cuddled with her new friend.
Credit: Miles Dixon / Metro

Cat cafes are one of Japan’s hottest trends (like maid cafes), but New Yorkers have finally jumped on the bandwagon with North America’s first pop-up cafe on Thursday. Though New York is known as a dog-loving city, hundreds of cat lovers lined up for this weekend’s event, hosted by Purina One, to hear experts talk about cat health and well-being while enjoying a cup of coffee.

“We didn’t expect the line to be this long,” said Jane Park, 30. “All I knew about the event is that there were going to be cats that we can play with, and I was sold!” Park said she has owned cats before but never took them outside her apartment in the city, as it posed too big a risk.

Rebecca Tsang, 30, said, “I came to play with the cats because there’s not any space for a cat in my apartment.”

Though most people came to cuddle with kittens, some people were just there for the freebies. “I came for the coffee,” said Eric Uster, a freshman at Pace College.

The cafe houses 16 cats in total and has glass doors separating the coffee bar and pastries from the cat area; customers can take their coffee to the cat area.

In a statement to Metro, the Department of Health said of the cafe, “For any food service establishment permitted by the Health Department, live animals, other than fish in a tank or service animals, are prohibited. The Cat Café is being set up in an event space with a cafe. The operators of the facility have assured the Department that cats will be kept in a separate room, and an inspector will be assigned to monitor the event to assure that health code requirements are being followed.”

Until Sunday, the cafe will offer free drinks and pastries from a local vendor; cat and coffee lovers alike can grab cat’achinos while hanging out with cats; the animals will be participating in an adoption event through the North Shore Animal League on Sunday.

Taylor Cuomo, 19, said she saw the event on BuzzFeed and brought her friends along to enjoy an afternoon of cats, coffee and conversation. “I would adopt a cat, but I live in the dorms,” Cuomo said.

After the adoption event, America will have to go back to cat-free cafes, but hopefully not for long. Permanent cat cafes are in the works in San Francisco; Portland, Oregon; and Los Angeles. Now that this cafe has paved the way for a space where coffee and cats can come together, it seems only a matter of time before this becomes the next big thing in New York City.

The cafe is at 168 Bowery.


Federal mediator joins Met Opera labor talks as…

Unions representing the orchestra and chorus of the Met Opera agreed to have a federal mediator join labor talks on Thursday as a threatened lockout loomed.


Winning $7 million New York lottery ticket sold…

The only $7 million winning New York Lottery ticket for Monday's Cash4Life drawing was sold at a Queens 7-Eleven, officials said on Tuesday.


Brooklyn man charged in roommate's stabbing death

A Brooklyn man accused of violently stabbing his roommate to death on Monday is in police custody and faces murder charges.


Dinosaurs could have survived asteroid strike

It turns out there is a good and a bad time for the planet to be hit by a meteor, and dinosaurs were just unlucky.…


Review: 'Guardians of the Galaxy' is a refreshingly…

Marvel is sitting so high on a cash mountain that it's now thrown $170 million at the relatively obscure and very silly title "Guardians of the Galaxy."


Review: 'Get on Up' is a war between…

James Brown finally gets his own boring biopic with "Get on Up," but the Godfather of Soul puts up a good fight against the usual cliches.


Review: 'Child of God' finds director James Franco…

James Franco's 11th directed feature is a noble but sloppy adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's "Child of God," about a feral mountain man (Scott Haze).


Review: Alex Gibney's Fela Kuti doc 'Finding Fela'…

Prolific documentarian Alex Gibney takes on Afrobeat god Fela Kuti in "Finding Fela," but fails to capture his unique essence.


Yankees land Stephen Drew, Martin Prado at trade…

Yankees land Stephen Drew, Martin Prado at trade deadline


Playing the Field: Valentine's Day coupling edition

  It’s Valentine’s Day, a day created by Hallmark to make couples spend loads and loads of money on candy, flowers and gourmet dinners. Or…


Angelo Cataldi: Ryan Howard deserves better from Phillies

Just last week, Ryan Howard endured the embarrassment of a benching that was inevitable, and yet still shocking.


Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.


What do you wear to a career fair?…

Getting that gig starts with presenting the most polished and memorable version of yourself, so refer to our expert fashion advice.


Editors pick: Margiela's finger armor ring

These cool rings from Maison Martin Margiela are designed to overlap over the finger, covering each joint like armor.


Givenchy champions diversity

Riccardo Tisci's uses a variety of ethnically diverse ladies for his spring campaign including Erykah Badu.


Don't settle for the hotel fitness center with…

Travelers who want to skip the hotel fitness center in favor of local gyms that may offer better equipment, classes and amenities can turn to…