BROOKVILLE — A new cafe experience is coming to Brookville at Calico Cafe, a cat cafe that will host a grand opening tomorrow (Friday) and aims to help cats find homes.
Calico Cafe owner Krista Uhrin is originally from Brookville and decided to open the cafe to help shelters in the area. She said that after working several jobs that she wasn’t passionate about, friends helped her decide to go head-first into opening her business, an idea they had been talking about for a while.
Unlike a typical cafe, the Calico Cafe is a cat cafe that will have a cat room in the back for customers to visit. The cats will have their own room separate from the front of the cafe, and customers can pay a small fee for a time slot to visit the cats.
Uhrin plans to charge $5 per 30-minute time slot with the cats and host various backyard events with the cats. She planned the first event, a fall painting and a sip that’s already sold out. Future events are in the works and will be posted on the company’s Facebook page, The Calico Cafe.
Some of its signature drinks on its menu are cat-themed, like The Calico, a caramel mocha; The Tuxedo, vanilla mocha; The Ginger Cat, a chai latte; and The Meowtcha, a matcha latte. It will also offer a range of other coffees, teas and espresso drinks, and many of its added flavors come in a sugar-free option.
She partnered with Aegis Coffee Roasters in DuBois. He mixed her a custom coffee blend they call “the Calico blend”.
The cafe won’t emphasize food, but Uhrin hopes to have various baked goods to go along with the coffee and the cats.
All cafe cats will come from a local shelter and will also be available for adoption at the cafe. For starters, Uhrin said all of her cats will come from Clarion PAWS because she’s worked with them in the past and people can adopt the cats right out of the cafe.
“…so I have all the papers. They’re all from the same place. They’ve been together before,” Uhrin said. “…and then I’ll be able to do the adoptions here.”
Having all the cats come from one place will also ensure that they all get along when they come to see her. She also plans to have pictures of adoptable cats from other shelters on the cafe walls.
There will also be rules and waivers needed to enter the chat room. All customers will have read or shown the rules before entering the chat room. Once read, customers will need to sign that they understand the rules. Although cats are friendly, they are still animals and can be unpredictable. Each customer will only have to sign it once and then it will be saved in their profile for future visits.
Anyone under 18 must have a parent or guardian sign on or before visiting, and children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult. Time slots can be reserved in advance to guarantee access to chats by visiting the cafe’s website, thecalicocafepa.com.
She said PAWS has a capacity of 50 cats, and between them and all of their foster homes, they have about 150 cats right now.
“One of the things I’d like to do here is actually have a course or courses on how to foster,” Uhrin said.
Opening a cafe was something she and her husband talked about when they lived in Pittsburgh, but it wasn’t feasible for them in the city. With the encouragement of some of her friends, she decided that now was the time and the place to try to achieve this dream.
“I always dreamed of doing something like a bakery cafe or something when we lived in Pittsburgh, because my husband is an artist, and we talked about doing a comic book cafe… Then I saw a cat cafe, and I love cats,” Uhrin said.
One of the hardest parts of finding a location for the business was finding one that allowed cats into the building. Now the space she is in is near perfect with ample space in the back for all future chats and events.