Charlotte's first "Cat Cafe" expected to open this summer

Charlotte's first "Cat Cafe" expected to open this summer

Did the headline make you do a double-take? It shouldn't. The idea of cat café's isn't new. There are more than 20 of them already open in the United States, and some of them are quite popular.

What's a cat café? Owner Lori Konawalik says her design for "Mac Tabby" is a vision of a relaxing environment where guests can mingle with each other and with cats as well.

"There's a trend in the United States where the cat cafes' are becoming more popular," Konawalik said.

That's what pushed the Charlotte mother of three and wedding photographer to open up a cat café of her own. The idea is one of a community gathering space where patrons can get drinks, listen to live music and spend time with adoptable cats which will be roaming around the café.

Konawalik hopes to work with local rescues to find cats that are looking for furrever homes. If customers happen to fall in love with a particular kitty, the adoption process begins.

"We rescued 9 cats last year and rehomed all of them. My heart just kept getting pulled to do more," Konawalik said.

There's no doubt Konawalik is a cat-lover, but she also recognizes that some people hate cats. "That's ok," she said, "The feedback I've been getting from the community has been absolutely amazing. So I know people want it here. So the people who don't want to come? That's ok. They have dog bars."

The café is expected to open up some time this summer in the NoDa area of Charlotte.

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