Does Sacramento still have a cat cafe, a bar downtown?

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The arrival of the Sacramento cat cafe took longer than expected. But the hopeful grand opening promises wine, coffee and cats under one roof.

Capital Cat Cafe, which was scheduled to open this winter, is now planning an October opening. Co-owner Emalee Ousley submitted a conditional use permit to the city’s planning division last week, marking a major milestone in the process of opening her business, which she founded with her mother Laura Ousley .

“We know it’s taking a little longer than expected – it’s taking longer than expected,” said Emalee Ousley. “We just want people to hang in there and have faith in us that we’re going to get things done.”

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Emalee Ousley, left, and her mother Laura Ousley, right, co-owners of the Capitol Cat Café, clean windows Tuesday, March 22. They were putting up signs on the doors and windows of the cat cafe that will open in the fall in downtown Sacrament. The wine, beer and coffee lounge will also offer small bites to eat with a separate area for customers to hang out with cats in need of adoption. Renee C. Byer [email protected]

Where will the Sacramento Cats Cafe open?

The mother and daughter duo joined the business after spending years in customer service. They wanted to try something new and bring this idea to their hometown.

“During the pandemic, we wanted to change the pace, and it’s something we’ve been dreaming about and talking about for 15 years,” the 26-year-old said. said Emalee Ousley.

In November, the Ousleys secured a lease for a building at 701 16th St.

The quiet, residential location is an attraction, Emalee Ousley said, looking forward to opening in the developing downtown district. She hopes people will enjoy the quiet, residential location.

“My goal is to be someone’s first stop on their night out,” she said. “You come in for a glass of wine and pet cats, then you go out to dinner on I Street.”

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Emalee Ousley, right, owner of the Capitol Cat Café with her mother Laura Ousley, prepares to hang a sign inside the cat cafe on Tuesday, March 22. Renee C. Byer [email protected]

Drinks in the cat room

Guests are invited to play with the curvy cats up for adoption in the cat room while sipping on the drink of their choice. Coffee, beer and wine will be served at the property, which guests are also welcome to bring with them to the cat room.

The cafe intends to partner with local farms and bakeries to develop a small plate menu, including salads, pastries and even charcuterie boards for customers to snack on.

And like many other cat cafes (yes, there are several), Capital Cat Cafe will serve as an offsite drop-in center for local shelters in the area. All cats in the room will be adoptable.

“Our goal is to increase the number of adoptions each year in the county and to give people a nice, relaxing place to hang out,” said Emalee Ousely, also a former barista.

Laura Ousley, who specializes in family therapy and said she has witnessed the therapeutic nature of animals firsthand, hopes the space will benefit students who are homesick and may not have access to animals.

An increase in feline catering

Cat cafes have been popular in recent years, with several establishments opening across the country. In most cases, these cafes also partner with local shelters.

“Rescues still have cats in cages…and we want to be part of this positive movement to give cats a better place to live while they find their forever home,” Laura Ousley said.

the the first cafe for cats in the United States opened in 2014 at the Cat Town Cafe in Oakland, founded by two local cat lovers. The concept was however born initially in Taiwan, and the first store, Cat Flower Gardenhas grown in popularity with tourists, according to Vice reports.

“Hopefully we can both develop a good sense of community where people can come and relax,” Emalee Ousley said, “as well as appealing to some of that tourism that’s coming to Sacramento and nicely attracting the downtown area.”


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This story was originally published March 23, 2022 5:00 a.m.

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