The entrepreneurs who want to open a cat cafe in Minneapolis are getting closer to achieving their dream, and are looking forward to the day they can sign on the dotted fe-line.
Danielle Rasmussen and Jessica Burge launched a Kickstarter last year to help get their cafe concept – The Cafe Meow – off the ground and managed to raise more than $15,000.
After failing with an attempt to open in Dinkytown, the latest update posted by the company a few days ago is that they have found a location in Uptown (of course), but that because of the nature of their business they have run into a regulatory roadblock.
That's because with the business being a combination of food service and, well, a room full of cats, they would be classed by Minneapolis as both a restaurant and an animal shelter.
As animal shelters are only permitted in industrial areas and the Uptown/Lyn-Lake location they've found is zoned commercial, they plan on appealing to the city to change the rules so businesses can keep animals overnight in commercial spaces.
They are canvassing neighboring businesses for support and are looking for similar support from the community. You can find out more about the help they need here.
Rasmussen told the Business Journal that the change in the law would also help other businesses like doggy day cares, who would be able to board animals overnight in a commercial space.
The cafe, which replicates cat cafes that have sprung up in major U.S. cities including those on the West Coast after becoming hugely popular in Asia, would work with local animal shelters to house cats temporarily, and give them a better showcase for adoption, she told the website.
The Cafe Meow would feature two separate areas – the "cat room" and the cafe – to ensure it is complying with food hygiene regulations, with the company saying: "You can come order some cat time with your coffee."
They hope to open by this fall.