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Is the KitTea Design Hip Enough to Woo the Snooty Cats of SF?

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At last, Bay Area cat fanciers will soon have a way to leave home and still find themselves coated in cat hair. As you recall, San Francisco's first cat café, the descriptively named KitTea, is slinking on over to 96 Gough Street in Hayes Valley, and founders Courtney Hatt, David Braginksy, and Benjamin Stingle have, lo and behold, released renderings. The images show a wealth of seating perches for the cats, along with plain chairs for people—though, who are we kidding, those belong to the cats, too (even the kitties copy-pasted into the renderings know this). All told, there's a storefront kitty display, a "peek-a-boo" cat play wall, and a tea room and cat lounge area kept separate—for health-code reasons—by a curiously named wall-mounted cat rack.

KitTea's owners laid out the space with feline shyness in mind. Patrons can go into the cat lounge, where a row of chairs faces a row of cat seating platforms on the opposite wall, so everyone can eye each other middle-school-dance style. Plus, kitties that grow weary of socializing will be free to disappear into a cat zen retreat, because all cats are Buddhists, or at least have minimalist taste, or at the very least know the appeal of very small rocks.

From these basic renderings, it's hard to tell what the space will really feel like inside. Depending on the finishes chosen for those mottled gray walls and green kitty banquettes, KitTea could end up feeling like a sleek tea lounge or maybe just a particularly well-appointed vet's office. The real judge, though, will be the cats, a species notorious for rejecting anything purpose-made with them in mind. If the Linden Street Blue Bottle line is full of cats in six months' time, we'll know what happened.

· KitTea SF [Official Site]
· An Early Look at Cat Café KitTea's Interior [Hoodline]
· Phew: SF's First Cat Café Inks Lease, Construction Begins ASAP [Curbed SF]