Cat lovers rejoice: There’s another cat cafe coming to Northern Virginia. But you might have known that already.
In 2018, Mount Purrnon Cat Cafe and Wine Bar raised $25,000 in a fully funded Kickstarter campaign to bring the concept to Alexandria. Co-founders Kristen Cowan and Adam Patterson have heard questions of whether the project was still in the works ever since.
“We’ve spent the last year trying to find a location that was something we thought we could afford, zoned properly and that had landlords who were OK with having animals in their space,” says Patterson. “So, that took a while.”
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With three cats of their own (Weasley, Schrodinger and Wally), the couple had the idea to open the location after visiting a cat cafe in Charleston, South Carolina.
“When we were drinking wine and hanging out with the cats we were like, ‘This is genius.’ Because [other than coffee and small bites], how else can you step it up?” Patterson says.
When they returned to their home in Arlington, they decided to move forward on opening their own location in NoVA. The name was inspired by Cowan’s love and appreciation of history, pulling from Alexandria’s historic past and the proximity of the city to George Washington’s Mount Vernon.
They recently signed on a space right off of the main drag of King Street with sights set on opening in spring of 2020. If all goes as planned, the former gym space will be transformed into a designated cat space upstairs, and a wine bar downstairs.
“There will not be liquor, but [other than wine], there will also be small bites and a limited beer selection,” says Patterson.
“And we are hoping there will also be a separate entrance in the back for people who could come into the bar without having to go up to the cat area. Just in case any two people come in and one happens to be allergic, one can go upstairs while the other hangs out at the bar.”
The location has yet to officially partner with a local shelter or rescue organization, but they do have one verbal agreement in the works. The partnership will allow 10 to 12 cats at a time to be socialized at the cafe and cared for through veterinary services. The application process for the location is yet to be determined.
Until doors open in the spring, Cowan and Patterson are looking forward to offering another experience in Alexandria for everyone to enjoy.
“I think there’s really been a boom in activities that also have beverages attached to them,” says Patterson. “And if we can save animals while also providing a place where people can go to have a good time, that will be amazing.”