A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from April 24, 2014
Cat Café

A “cat café” is a place where people can drink coffee and also pet cats; in some cities, owning a cat is expensive. The world’s first cat café opened in Taiwan in 1998. In April 2014, Purina ONE Cat Café opened in the Bowery in New York City.

“Cat café” has been cited in English since at least 2004.


Wikipedia: Cat café
A cat café is a theme café whose attraction is cats that can be watched and played with. Patrons pay a cover fee, generally hourly, and thus cat cafés can be seen as a form of supervised indoor pet rental.

History
The world’s first cat café opened in Taiwan in 1998. The Taiwanese cat café, located in Taipei, eventually became famous in Japan and began to attract many Japanese tourists as well as domestic visitors. In Japan, the first cat café opened in Osaka in 2004.

Japan
Cat cafés are quite popular in Japan, with Tokyo being home to at least 39 cat cafés. The first was Cat’s Store (猫の店 Neko no Mise?), by Norimasa Hanada, which opened in 2005. The popularity of cat cafés in Japan is attributed to many apartments forbidding pets, and to cats providing relaxing companionship in what may otherwise be a stressful and lonesome urban life. Other forms of pet rental, such as rabbit cafes, are also common in Japan.

Google Groups: aus.tv
Someone in NY just opened a “cat cafe”
Mostly Organised, Often Confused
9/21/04
This is funny......
They just said on the radio that a guy in NY has licensed the idea of a “Cat Cafe” where cats and their owners can sit down and enjoy a cafe atmosphere…

They’re planning to open in Sydney

Working with the Cat Welfare Society
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 15, 2005
Of Cat Cafes and ‘Pregnant’ sterilised cats
I was so pleased today when I went in for the town council meeting for a change. I was quite concerned that they were going to tell us that there were complaints and that the cats would be removed. Instead the Deputy General Manager asked if we could set up a cat cafe, which we had mentioned in the last meeting. His idea is that if the cats are moved away from the residential blocks to the park right beside it that it might be better in terms of cutting down complaints.
(...)
COMMENTS
Aminah Bee said...
Cat cafe gets approval from Town Council ... Hallelujah! This is indeed good news!
Now if only other Town Councils approved of cat cafes everywhere in Singapore, it is a dream come true for community cat feeders!

Reuters
Cat cafe soothes Tokyo’s busy feline lovers
BY YOKO KUBOTA
TOKYO Tue Dec 4, 2007 12:45am EST
(Reuters Life!) - The 14 felines-in-residence at Tokyo’s Cat Cafe Calico excel at their job of making customers purr with delight.
(...)
Calico is one of at least three cafes that have opened up in Tokyo this year where visitors can mingle with cats as they enjoy a cup of tea.

The Huffington Post
Hong Kong’s Ah-Meow Cat Cafe
By La Carmina
Posted: 12/31/2013 11:15 am
(...)
Many Hong Kong residents are unable to have pets because they work long hours and live in small apartments. Cat cafes let them get a feline fix, while enjoying tea and snacks. This restaurant trend began in Japan, and is now popular in major Asian cities.

There aren’t any ground rules at Ah-Meow—simply walk in, and join the action. The tables are packed with young locals on dates. Many hold smart phones and take photos of (or with) the kitties.

This cafe is home to eleven cats, all of whom were adopted. They roam the space freely: Some duck into baskets, others climb onto the tables and whisk their tails in people’s faces.

The New Yorker
APRIL 24, 2014
THE CAT CAFÉ IS HERE
POSTED BY KATIA BACHKO
Some people think that everything is better with a cat. A walk in the park, say, or a cup of coffee. Mostly everyone else thinks those people are misguided, especially the New York City Department of Health, which generally frowns on the presence of live animals in places where cooked animals are served as food—with the exception of service animals and fish in tanks, of course. One measly mouse can spell trouble, and “four or more live animals in establishment” might mean a failing grade in the window and a padlock on the door. Meanwhile, in Europe and Asia, pet cafés of all stripes and spots—for cats, dogs, goats, turtles, rabbits, and penguins—have been popular for more than a decade. This sort of hygienic uptightness is part of what’s wrong with America, you might say.

The nice people of Purina, however, want to change all that and restore America to its greatness. For the good of the country, and the hundreds of cats awaiting their “forever homes” at the North Shore Animal League shelter on Long Island, Purina has created a pop-up cat café on the Lower East Side—one part marketing ploy, two parts adoption drive, and a dash of caffeine. Today through Sunday, patriots and feline fanciers alike can enjoy a “cat-achino”—there’s a cat face in the foam—while petting one of sixteen cats.

Business Insider
People Are Going Crazy Over New York’s Cat Café
AMANDA MACIAS AND JULIE ZEVELOFF APR. 24, 2014, 12:25 PM
The already popular business of cat cafés — yes, coffee shops where customers are surrounded by dozens of playful cats — has come to New York.

Purina One’s cat café, a pop-up in the East Village, is open for business today and already attracting a ton of buzz. The café will have experts on hand to discuss cat health and behavior. There will be adoptable kitties from North Shore Animal League America, too.

The café will be open through April 27, so if you’re a cat lover, head over soon and join the party.

Daily News (New York, NY)
Cat Café pop-up in the Bowery is a place for New Yorkers to ‘paws’ and relax from the daily grind
A pop-up Cat Cafe, open in New York’s Bowery district from Thursday to Sunday, is welcoming cat and coffee lovers who need a ‘paws’ from the daily grind. Even better: all of the cats can be adopted, and the Cat’achinos are complimentary.

BY BETH STEBNER Thursday, April 24, 2014, 1:49 PM
The first Cat Café in North America has New Yorkers “feline” groovy.

City-dwellers and tourists alike flocked to the Purina ONE Cat Café in the Bowery on Thursday morning for their chance to spend some quality time with some furry friends, while caffeining up on the pop-up’s signature Cat’achino, a cappuccino with a foam feline on top.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityRestaurants/Bars/Bakeries/Food Stores • Thursday, April 24, 2014 • Permalink