Koneko Cat Cafe Opens Next Monday on Clinton Street, Boasts Feline-Focused Garden Mural

Posted on: October 21st, 2015 at 9:22 am by
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Self-proclaimed as America’s first “authentic Japanese-style cat cafe,” Koneko debuts next week at 26 Clinton Street. Reservations have been open since August, but the official opening date is set for Monday (October 26). Owner Benjamin Kalb confirmed as much in a recent post to Twitter.

The security gates are usually shuttered so scoping the interior is tricky. One eagle-eyed tipster, however, sniped a view of the rear garden space where a cat-themed mural was recently painted. The artwork features a plethora of feline references, including Felix the Cat and the Cat in the Hat.

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Koneko seats twenty patrons in its cafe space, which, per Department of Health regulations, sits separately from the “Cattery.” The latter area is ruled by the kitties, and includes a variety of designated play elements. Apparently the Cattery is split in three – upstairs, downstairs, and the aforementioned outdoor cat garden. Kalb told Gothamist over the summer that “we’re building [the garden] very specifically to make sure that cats won’t be able to climb the walls and hop the fence and also that cats in the neighborhood won’t be able to jump in.

As previously reported, they’ll serve “breakfast food such as baked goods, oatmeal, fresh fruit” and for lunch/dinner, “Chirashi, Hiyayakko, salads, and sandwiches.” Stumptown coffee, “hand-picked teas,” and selections from Kalb’s “favorite local bakeries” round out the menu.

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At night, Koneko will transform into a bar where strictly wine and beer will be available. That license is still pending with the State Liquor Authority, though, and remains to be seen if it’ll be approved in time for launch.

Kalb also noted the following in a recent blog:

The Cattery team will be there to ensure both you and the kitties have a great time. Each team member is carefully trained in animal care and is a loud and proud Cat Person. Our core mission is to find forever homes for our cats – we hope you’ll consider! I’ve teamed up with Anjellicle Cat Rescue, City Critters, and K9 Kastle – three amazing rescue organizations that are doing incredible work in the city.

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