San Diego’s first fully-licensed bar, restaurant, and animal sanctuary all in one has landed on Adams Avenue where Whiskers & Wine lets guests pet and play with adoptable kittens and cats in a cage-free interactive environment while enjoying a range of cocktails, local beer, and wine along with a menu of drink-friendly bites.
Inside the two-story venue, furry friends from San Diego-based animal rescue organization Saving One Life snuggle in for cuddles during $30, 75-minute cat therapy sessions, which can be booked online. While customers sip cocktails and nibble on bar bites, they can use cat teasers and wands to interact with the animals or watch as the felines frolic around the shelf play wall or clamber up the partitioned cat-only staircase that leads the kitties to the enclosed roof deck. There’s also a secret cave where the adorable cat residents retreat for naps and me-time.
For those who want to forgo the entry fee, there’s also a small dining area where patrons can observe the cats through glass.
The menu includes flatbreads like the salami and olive-topped Purrscuito, made with fresh-baked bread delivered daily from Sadie Rose Baking Co., while a panini press churns out Italian, club, and meatball marinara sandwiches. Other offerings range from salads and shareable snacks like Meow Mix for humans (sweet and salty nut and dried fruit mix in a wine glass) and Kitten Tots (baked tater tots) to a CharCATerie Board with an array of cheeses, meats, and handmade dark and white leaves of chocolate.
Cocktails include Jaz’s Pearfect Meowtini made with gin, elderflower liqueur, pear juice, and mint or Nick’s Whiskey Meower, a mix of whiskey and sweet and sour mix with a red wine float. Partnering exclusively with Record Family Wines, the lounge also pours a selection of wines from the fourth-generation family of Paso Robles wine growers who run Paso de Record Vineyard.
Co-owners Nicole and Chris Smith tell Eater that they would love to expand Whiskers & Wine to another location, in San Diego or elsewhere, once their multi-faceted business model of running a restaurant, bar, and humane society is fully worked out.