top of page

Hot Spots: Cat's out of the bag as The Cafe Meow opens this week

Feb 14, 2018, 5:00am CST

The Cafe Meow Founders Danielle Rasmussen (left) and Jessica Burge (right). Minnesota's first cat café, a business aimed at providing feline enthusiasts a gathering space to drink coffee and hang out with cats, is opening in Uptown this week. The Café Meow will open on Friday in the 2317 Hennepin Ave. building in Minneapolis. Walk-ins are accepted, but guests are encouraged to reserve a time slot on the company website beforehand. The café has two separate areas, a traditional café and cat room. Guests order a coffee or tea in the café and enter the other room to drink their beverage with cats. City health codes required a solid separation between the cat room and the café portion. There are a few Café Meow ground rules first timers should know about: No, you can't bring your own cat in. Cats are provided at the café and are all up for adoption. Guests need to use hand sanitizer before petting cats in the café. Kids under 13 will need an accompanying adult. Danielle Rasmussen and Jessica Burge are the co-founders of the Café Meow, a business years in the making. Locations in Dinkytown and Lyn-Lake didn't pan out, and the idea nearly fell apart last year when an investor backed out with $100,000 in funding. But after the duo announced the loss on social media, numerous smaller investors reached out to fund the project. "It hasn’t really hit me yet," Rasmussen said about the opening. "I will say that it's really awesome for the people that have come in for our soft opening and Kickstarter events so far to just see them so happy." CONNOR ANDERSON — DRIVEN DREAMS MEDIA The Café Meow works with several local shelters — Pet Project Rescue, Ruff Start Rescue, No Kitten Left Behind and Minnesota Animal Rescue — to house the cats temporarily. The goal is to give the cats more exposure for a better chance of adoption. The cat café concept started in countries like Japan and Taiwan, then popped up on the West and East coasts of the United States a few years ago. "I definitely never necessarily had a goal in life to be like, ‘I’m going to run a business someday,’ " Rasmussen said. "But it's great and it’s really nice to be part of something and make something awesome that people really want and enjoy." The Café Meow serves coffee drinks from St. Paul-based Bootstrap Coffee Roasters and tea from Minneapolis-based Northern Lights Tea Co. It also has cookies, muffins and breads from Minneapolis-based My Sister’s Sweets and FoxCakes. Tentative hours for The Café Meow are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. It will be closed on Mondays. Marshall Nguyen with Edina-based Caspian Group represented the Café Meow in its site search. Lauren Kessler with with Colliers International Minneapolis-St. Paul represented the landlord in the deal. Rasmussen and Burge worked with St. Paul-based Flannery Construction as their general contractor. Dan DeBaun Staff reporter/Digital producer - Minneapolis / St. Paul Business Journal

bottom of page