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San Diego Enters Race for First North American Cat Café

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It's happening, cat fanciers. San Diegan Tony Wang is attempting to bring the cat café, a current craze in Asia, to local animal lovers. Eater spoke to Wang, who let the cat out of the bag and told us that he's secured a location at 3rd and Island, in a 1,200-square-foot space that used to be a dry cleaners.

With funds raised through an Indiegogo campaign that runs through May 25 and a potential loan, Wang hopes to open The Cat Café by July 1.

He said there's friendly competition between similar projects currently underway across the U.S. and Canada, including San Francisco, Toronto and Vancouver, to see whose permanent cat café will debut first; a pop-up cat café had a short stint in New York last week.

Wang says that he's had preliminary discussions with authorities about cat café regulations, which stipulate that his food-making facility must be at least 20 feet away from the animals. He's planning to locate his coffee cart, serving drip coffee, espresso drinks and pastries, at the front of the space, where it will be separated by multiple doors from a cat play area that will double as an animal adoption center.

To start, The Cat Café will be open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., though Wang says he'll expand its hours if there is enough demand from cat lovers needing "purr therapy".
· The Cat Café [Official Site]
· All Coming Attractions on Eater [~ESD~]

The Cat Café

472 3rd Avenue San Diego, CA 92101