If you're unaware, the usual Cat Cafe is where people can go, have a drink and a snack, and interact with the cats at the cafe. You can pet and play with the various cute cats. Many of those cat cafes also allow you to adopt their cats. They have been hugely popular in Japan and have started to make some inroads in the U.S. Boston currently doesn't have any cate cafes, but that is about to change...with an intriguing twist.
Felix Sylvester is planing on opening La Casa Del Gato, a Spanish-inspired cat cafe somewhere in downtown Boston, the exact location still to be determined. Fresh and tinned seafood will be the center of their menu, although there will be multiple variations of Paella as well. Sylvester has hired a famed chef, Fritz Garfield, to helm their kitchen. The cafe won't serve any alcohol as it doesn't fit into their concept.
So what will make this cat cafe unique?
With the understanding that restaurants have had difficulty getting customers during these troubling times, Sylvester examined his options, spending much time seeking a solution. He finally came to the conclusion that he needed to tap into a customer base whose needs were not currently being catered to by the general restaurant community. And he found such a group, which numbers approximately 95 million across the country.
Why wasn't anyone else tried to tap into this large market?
Sylvester has chosen to reverse the usual dynamic of the cat cafe. His customers will actually be the cats, who will come to his cafe to dine out, to enjoy delicious Spanish cuisine. It will be the first restaurant experience for cats. Humans will bring their cats to the cafe, and may help the cats select menu items, but the humans won't be allowed to dine with their cats. There will be a separate waiting area for all of the humans.
In describing the experience, Felix Sylvester stated, "Why shouldn't our beloved feline companions have the opportunity to enjoy a wonderful dining experience at a restaurant? Six cats live with me, and I've found they are especially partially to seafood, especially if I prepare it in a Spanish style. So, I decided to bring such delights to the greater cat population. Dog parks are everywhere, and dogs often are allowed on restaurant patios. It's time for cats to have their due."
If successful, Sylvester would like to franchise the business across the country, as well as open cafes specializing in different cuisines, from French to Italian. Chef Fritz Garfield has extensive experience with Italian cuisine and stated, "I'm truly excited for this unique opportunity, and hope that our feline customers enjoy our Spanish seafood dishes. In the future, I hope that our cat customers might have the chance to enjoy my famous lasagna."
I'm wishing Felix Sylvester much luck with his new endeavor.