Two days before Portland's newest café opens, reservations are already filling up.
The big draw isn't the drinks or the food, although the co-owner's homemade salsa and pastries from Fleur de Lis bakery are on the menu.
Instead, potential customers are looking forward to hanging out with the four-legged patrons at Purringtons Cat Lounge.
Eight to ten cats, all up for adoption, will live in the café's lounge.
“It's a really lovely way for people come see cats that are up for adoption, hang out with them and get to know them,” said Kristen Castillo, who is opening the business with her husband, Sergio.
Customers can enjoy food and drinks in the café area, which looks into the lounge.
They also have the option of paying eight dollars an hour to hang out in the lounge with the cats.
Kristen Castillo first heard about a cat café in Paris and immediately decided to bring one to Portland.
“It knocked my socks off. I had an epiphany,” she said. “And the next day I started making phone calls and I've been planning it ever since.”
The Castillos have done a lot of work with the health department to make sure no cat paws will enter the kitchen, in addition to working with the Cat Adoption Team, a non-profit shelter, to ensure the safety of the cats.
The lounge is Portland's first cat café, but Kristen Castillo doesn't think it will be the last.
Purringtons Cat Lounge opens January 24 at noon. There will be no reservations that day.
You can make reservations online for future dates.
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