A new breed of coffee shop is sweeping west across the globe from Japan, where the hottest place for animal lovers to take their tea is inside a cat café.
The first Japanese restaurant to provide its customers with a roomful of feline companions opened in 2004; there are now hundreds of copycat establishments in Tokyo alone. The craze exploded in Asia, before cafés in East and then Central Europe opened their doors. Last year it was Paris, last month London, and by the end of the year the United States is scheduled to have its first cat café, in San Francisco.
Onerous health and safety regulations, which differ from country to country, have ensured the trend took longer than a grumpy cat meme to go viral, but the thirst for coffee with a side of petting shows no sign of slowing down. Of course the Internet, where the cat is king, has proved a fertile breeding ground for these ventures. The British café raised more than $180,000 online, while a U.S. project successfully crowdfunded almost $60,000. “We were incredibly lucky!” Courtney Hatt, one of the founders of San Francisco’s KitTea, told the Daily Beast.
Via FREE WHITEWATER.