Le Café des Chats, the first feline-themed coffeeshop in North America, caused a sidewalk traffic jam and drew a mini media scrum when it opened on August 30. Two weeks into the great Montreal cat café experiment and the Yelpers are already weighing in. And it's a bit of a mixed bag.
The highlights and lowlights:
John B.: "I was curious to see how this place would be setup with having cats and the hair that comes with them everywhere. When you come in you're asked to clean your hands for the cats. The bar is up front with a small menu typical of most cafe. I did like their espresso. What I found a bit annoying was the order was taken to the back and finally brought forward. Although if you're coming here, I suppose a speedy espresso on the go is not the goal."
Alex B.: "The idea of lounging around with a bunch of cats (restricted for 12 y.o. and older) was a fun idea...but in reality... Staff is clueless, menu is limited and expensive, the space is badly divided, etc.. Received the wrong coffee, washroom door hinges falling apart, cats are all stuck in the front window, they seem annoyed or tired, rules are not inforced (no one is there monitoring the cat crazy clientele), unconfortable seating, feels like a small step up from a refuge, but with that many people around the cats all day I don't know what's better?"
Maria F.: "Stopped in here last week for the preview and absolutely adored the space, the cats, and the whole 'cat cafe' experience. They didn't have a menu available yet, but the Thai iced tea was lovely. The cats were so relaxed and friendly, and the staff was really sweet. Too bad I was only in Montreal for vacation, otherwise I would be stopping in every day!"
Lu G.: "Came here after much waiting and anticipation, only to be grossly disappointed. I had to wait outside the door for for a bit, before I was allowed in, because they are afraid the cats might escape, then I was stopped and told to disinfect my hands with the Purell by the door,before entering a very narrow "lounge" area where the (3) cats are. I then was informed to take a seat, (rickety) at an available table, then exit the lounge, to the cash, order my drink, then wait. I ordered an iced tea, (regular size) at a whopping $4.54 (with tax) , then had to wait an eternity before it was finally delivered to my table."