A little over three years after the cat cafe trend first hit the U.S., Nashville is poised to get Tennessee’s first such coffee house. And possibly more.
Currently, three cat cafes are in the works in Middle Tennessee, each in a different phase of the process. The first to open its doors should be Mewsic Kitty Cafe. After a few successful pop-ups last year, cafe founders Maegan and Thien Phan locked down a permanent location in the Woodbine neighborhood last November, taking over the former Red Bicycle Coffee & Crepes location at 2519 Nolensville Rd. after it moved to a larger space just down the road.
A progress update earlier this month stated that building plans had been submitted to Metro Codes and that they were awaiting approval. The update additionally mentioned that due to local health department laws and limitations of the space, the cafe will offer “a limited menu of high quality hot coffee, tea, bottled beverages, and food items, all made locally or regionally.” As for the little furry friends, Mewsic Kitty Cafe will be working with Nashville Cat Rescue to supply the adoptable felines.
And just south of town, two more heavy-petting projects are currently in the works. Murfreesboro residents Taura and Curtis Byrd are looking to open Catfeine Cat Cafe, with posts to social media this month signaling that things are picking up steam with the potential securing of a location. And another venture called Catnips Cat Cafe is also in the planning stages, with a full progress report posted just last week.
The first cat cafe opened in Taiwan in 1998, but the concept didn’t make it stateside until over 15 years later when the first two opened in Oakland, Calif. and New York City in late 2014. For the uninitiated, cat cafes are essentially coffee shops that house cute, cuddly kitties that are available for adoption. According to a recent report from Mew Haven Cat Cafe in Connecticut, there are currently 74 cat cafes in 28 states, with Tennessee having zero. But that’s all about to change.