Yes, Charleston might get a cat cafe


Purrrfect timing?

Is Charleston ready for its first Cat Cafe? Ashley Brooks thinks so. The employee at D.C.’s Crumbs and Whiskers is planning to launch her own kitty bistro, Pounce: Cat Cafe and Wine Bar in Charleston this summer. 

For those unfamiliar with the growing cat cafe trend, the idea isn’t a Purina-serving pop-up for kittens. Rather, cat cafes offer human clients a place to hang out and have a drink — in the case of Pounce, an alcoholic one — while chilling with felines. 

“The way that the one works in D.C. is we’ve partnered with Washington D.C. Humane Society,” explains Brooks. Guests pay an hourly cover charge of $15 to hang out and have coffee, but they can adopt the cats too, she says. Essentially the cafe fosters the cats before they can find a forever home, hopefully with one of the cafe regulars. Brooks hopes to do the same here with the Charleston Humane Society.

While Pounce is still very much in its infancy, Brooks has already spoken with the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control to discuss codes, safety, and sewage. The feedback was positive she says, specifically in regards to her plan to follow San Francisco cat cafe Kittea’s concept — cats are kept on one side of the building, the kitchen on the other, and no food or tea may be served around the animals. 

Like Crumbs and Whiskers, Brooks plans to Kickstart Pounce sometime this winter, but she admits she’s not sure if the city will support the idea. “I have no idea if it’s going to work in Charleston. I know people love animals. There are always dogs outside at every restaurant, not to mention being a wine bar, it would add to whole scene,” she says. For now Pounce is just a self-proclaimed crazy cat lady’s dream, but if all goes to plan, Brooks hopes to have a location finalized by next summer.

Cover image by Flickr user htakashi

Support the Charleston City Paper

We’ve been covering Charleston since 1997 and plan to be here with the latest and Best of Charleston for many years to come. In a time where local journalism is struggling, the City Paper is investing in the future of Charleston as a place where diverse, engaging views can flourish. We can't do it without our readers. If you'd like to support local, independent journalism:

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

Gaillard Center’s 2020-2021 season features Broadway musicals, chamber orchestras, and an iconic dance company

While so much of the world has seemed to come to a standstill, area arts organizations and venues continue to plan for their upcoming seasons — offering a shimmer of hope at the end of this coronavirus tunnel. The Gaillard Center promises “10 sensational performances” during this upcoming season, including two Lowcountry Broadway premieres.

Brookgreen Gardens opens new outdoor exhibit, “Southern Light,” on May 15

Murrell’s Inlet’s Brookgreen Gardens is currently open, 9:30 a.m.-7 p.m. daily. And, after its original opening date was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic, Bruce Munro’s massive outdoor light installation, Southern Light, will open to the public on Fri. May 15.

Sam Reynolds

Sam Reynolds, a Lowcountry folk songwriter who now resides in Vermont, released a collection of soft, subtle, and stirring piano instrumentals on May 1 titled Broken Tulips.

Charleston Wine + Food Festival says 2020 event had $19.9 million local economic impact

A survey by the College of Charleston reports that 54% of the 28,000 Charleston Wine + Food attendees were local.