North America's inaugural cat café will open this Saturday in Montreal. Le Café des Chats was just one in a litter of non-pop-up, feline-themed coffeeshops jockeying to be the first to welcome customers on the continent. Others will open soon in the likes of San Diego, Portland, Seattle, New York and, indeed, Montreal.
For now, however, Le Café des Chats stands alone. Management writes that the café "is based on a very popular concept in Japan that has been developing for years in major European cities such as Paris, London, Vienna and Budapest."
Some more crucial info, adapted and translated from the café's Facebook page:
The pioneer behind the project is Youssef Labib. Labib, 32, holds a Master's degree in Marketing and Strategic Management from ESLSCA Paris. When he discovered cat cafés in Asia and Europe he decided to chart a new career path. A big lover of cats and coffee, Labib was later joined by Nadine Spencer and other stakeholders.
The café will start with a dozen cats adopted from animal welfare groups. They will have regular veterinary care and will be insured, microchipped, vaccinated and neutered. The cats will wander at will and interact with various toys and structures.
The resident cats will access a separate litter box area via a pet door. Alcohol-based gel will be available to customers at the entrance. A practical guide will explain appropriate conduct (no sudden, loud noises, no flash photography, and so on).
On the menu at Le Café des Chats: pastries, cookies, teas, coffees and fair trade and organic items. Hours are Sunday to Thursday from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. and Friday, Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Spencer reports that for the opening this Saturday "a bunch of fun stuff will be going on between noon and 6:00 p.m."
Oh and take note: the café will not accept outside animals on the premises.