Cat Town Café, the first of its kind in the country, is now open in Oakland, Calif., in the heart of the city’s historic Auto Row. Co-founded by Ann Dunn and Adam Myatt, the cafe and cat adoption center affords customers the opportunity to enjoy a hyper-locally sourced menu of light bites and various beverages with the option of then consuming these in the company of cats available for adoption.
“The cafe part is completely self-contained within the larger property,” said Dunn,also the founder of Cat Town, a non-profit that has been rescuing at-risk shelter cats in partnership with Oakland Animal Services (Oakland’s overburdened and under resourced municipal shelter) since 2011. “You walk in, get your goodies, then go in to the Cat Zone.”
In addition to hosting America’s first two pop-up cafe’s back in March, the Cat Town Cafe is America’s first permanent cat cafe. Guests are welcome to walk-in to the Cat Zone for a free visit limited to 60 minutes, or, for a small donation, are able to guarantee entry via an on-line reservation system at www.cattowncafe.com/reservations.
The Cafe’s debut menu includes bagels from the Authentic Bagel Co., sandwiches from S+M Vegan, and coffee from Bicycle Coffee Company, as well as catnip tea, for people and cats. On the sweet side, guests can enjoy Cat Macaroons from Shades of Sugar and other treats from Oakland’s Kitchener Collective. Once in the Cat Zone, patrons can purchase dehydrated treats from RAWR, an Oakland-based raw cat food purveyor, for their new feline friends.
Large windows illuminate the 2,200-square-foot space housing both the cafe and the separate Cat Zone. Unique to the Cat Zone’s architecture are cat beds inspired by the Port of Oakland’s cargo cranes and cat play structures based on buildings from the downtown Oakland skyline. The cafe also features a rotating cat-centric art gallery and a variety of cat-focused merchandise available for purchase. Weather permitting, there is a sidewalk seating option, though without cats.
Cat Town is a 501(c)(3) cat rescue organization that utilizes a unique rescue model based on a close collaboration with the municipal shelter and a focus on the hardest-to-place cats. The founding mission is to find homes for animals that are unable to handle the stress of the shelter environment and are thus more likely to be euthanized. The cat cafe allows Cat Town to expand its capacity to get many more cats out of cages and into homes. To help support Cat Town please visit http://www.cattowncafe.com/donate.
The Cat Town Cafe is located at 2869 Broadway, at 29th Street, in Oakland. The cafe is open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., Wednesday to Sunday, while the Cat Zone is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday to Sunday. More information can be found at www.CatTownCafe.com.
If you are visiting Oakland, put it on your list of tourist places to visit. For locals, what a great place me meet friends and even hold an event.