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First Look Inside the KitTea Cat Café As It Gears Up for Opening

Photos via Patricia Chang
The cat café is most definitely an idea whose time has come, with the arrival of Oakland's Cat Town in October and New York's Meow Parlour in December. Clearly, hot beverages and feline companionship are a winning combination (cat ladies, the world is catching up to you). Using a model similar to Cat Town's, San Francisco's KitTea—which opens on Wednesday, June 24, at 96 Gough Street in Hayes Valley—combines a play space for adoption-ready kitties in one room with a café serving an assortment of fine teas in the other. For a reservation fee of $20, patrons are treated to one hour of kitty time and a bottomless pot of tea. Our sister site Eater stopped by recently to take the tour and look in on the kittehs.

KitTea, founded by Courtney Hatt and Lisa Tsubouchi, is mostly about facilitating cat adoptions, though they also plan to lure in patrons with a menu of macarons, donuts, and cheesecake. Much like matchmaking, but on an interspecies level, the idea is to give people in need of cats and cats in need of homes a neutral place to meet before deciding to go home together. The cats arrive by way of KitTea's nonprofit partner, Give Me Shelter, and the tea hails from a small sustainable farm in Kyoto.

Unlike Oakland's Cat Town, which goes for a playful, cartoonish vibe—with murals populated by the Golden Gate Bridge and also Grumpy Cat—KitTea is pure minimalism (kittimalism?). There are thatched chairs, blond wood banquettes, and an array of dare-we-say tasteful cat furniture.

One catveat: KitTea's insurance policy prohibits children under 9 from entering the cat space, and kids under 12 must be accompanied by an older cat fancier.

· KitTea [Official Site]
· Here Now, a Photo Tour of Cat Town, America's First Cat Café [Curbed SF]
· Look Around Meow Parlour, New York City's Very First Cat Cafe [Eater NY]
· Cat Café KitTea to Open for Heavy Petting Next Week [Eater SF]
· Cat Town Cafe, America's First Cat Cafe, Now Open in Oakland [Eater SF]
· Previous Coverage of KitTea [Curbed SF]