Sana Hamelin opened Denver's first cat cafe in 2014; since then, fans of felines have been flocking to the Denver Cat Company to keep company with cats over cups of coffee. Now Hamelin is ready to expand her kitty empire, and she's launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise money for a cat bar.
Hamelin's new project will feature a similar setup to her original cat cafe, with adoptable cats that guests can hang out with while enjoying books and beverages. But the new bar will feature wine and will stay open late, since "cats are more active and playful at night, just like their human counterparts," according to the Kickstarter campaign.
Although Denver health-department regulations are very strict when it comes to pets and food prep, Hamelin has already been working with the city to comply with health and building codes. The area where cats roam freely will be completely separate from the food and drink prep areas, though customers will be able to take their food and drink into the cat room.
Cats enjoy attention at the Denver Cat Company.
The Kickstarter campaign is attempting to raise $60,000 to help fund the new bar; with seventeen days remaining, cat fans have already kicked in nearly $10,000. The Denver Cat Company works with several pet placement organizations, including the Adams County Animal Shelter, Kneady Kitten and Planet Pet. Through its adoption program, the cafe has already found new homes for more than 142 cats, and with a new bar, Hamelin thinks she will be able to double the number of available cats.
Although a location has not yet been selected for this new cat sanctuary, Hamelin hopes to use the Kickstarter funds to secure a space in a hip neighborhood, which would give the adoption side of the business more exposure. The current Denver Cat Company is at 3929 Tennyson Street and is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Once you adopt your kitty and get it home, you'll probably want to celebrate with a glass of wine — for you and your new feline roomie. A Colorado company just started making the purr-fect potable: Apollo Peak All-Natural Cat Wine launched in 2015 with a tasty beverage for cats so that lonely cat people needn't drink alone.
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Of course, Apollo Peak is alcohol-free, but it's made with organic catnip to make it irresistible. It's also colored and flavored with beets and other natural ingredients. There's a Pinot Meow and a white Moscato to pair with red meat or fish.
Apollo Peak was founded by Brandon Zavala and named after his cat Apollo. Check the company's website to purchase online or find retail locations where the cat wines are available. Zavala and his team are also headed to Los Angeles for CatCon 2016 this weekend, America's largest industry convention for purveyors of cat products.