BIRMINGHAM, Ala (WIAT) – Birmingham’s first cat cafe will soon open in Avondale.
The coffee shop will let people pay to spend time inside a cat lounge petting and hanging out with cats. The cats will also be available for adoption. The price for the cat lounge will be $10 per hour.
Kelli Steward plans to open Gatos and Beans at 4348 3rd Court South in Avondale. Steward has worked as a receptionist at Alford Avenue Veterinary Hospital in Hoover for more than 20 years.
“I’ve been where I work for 23 years and I love it, but I was just kind of going through a phase where I would like to try to do something different,” Steward said. “I just turned 50 and thought, let’s just mix it up a bit.”
Steward was inspired by a cat cafe in Atlanta.
“So we went to visit it, and I just loved it, and I thought I can do this.” Steward said.
Stewart says the cat room at the cafe will serve as an addition of the Kitty Kat Haven and Rescue center in Hoover. It’s a cage-free, no-kill pet rescue.
Steward says the cat lounge will benefit people and the cats available for adoption.
“You just go in and hang out with cats. They benefit from it because they get somebody paying them attention and socialization and that sort of thing,” Steward said. “If you’re lucky you connect with one and you go home with one.”
Steward hopes Gatos and Beans will open in early June.