After months of behind-the-scenes toiling, co-owners Brittanie Sinisgalli and Mary Costello are excited to finally open Espurresso Cat Cafe — Lawrence’s very first cat cafe.
The soft opening is set for 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, July 29 at 1014 Massachusetts St.
“We personally have been working in the space diligently for the past four weeks … and have heard people walking by talking about how much they’re looking forward to coming,” Sinisgalli said. “So finally getting to open the doors and to see the people enjoying the space is going to be very fulfilling.”
There will be two doors when you walk in. You can either shuffle into the coffee shop or enter the Purrlor, the cat enclosure, as long as there is space.
To avoid overwhelming the cats, the Purrlor will have limited capacity, accepting walk-ins when openings are available. Sinisgalli and Costello recommend making reservations online at espurressocatcafe.com. Accessing the Purrlor is $10 per person (plus tax) for a 30-minute slot, and $15 per person for an hour.
Kids will be allowed in the cafe at all times, but there are restrictions on when they can come into the Purrlor. Kid-friendly hours are from 2 to 6 p.m. For $10 per half hour and $15 per hour, up to two kids ages 17 and younger can enter per accompanying adult.
The fees will help pay for the costs associated with caring for and housing the cats.
Currently, there are five cats staying in the Purrlor.
“Seeing the cats enjoying the Purrlor for the first time today was really nice,” Sinisgalli said. “Definitely seeing it all come together bit by bit has been great.”
Anyone allergic interested in going to the cafe needn’t worry. The cats are inside an enclosure with separate ventilation.
The Purrlor will have wall-to-wall plexiglass and bar seating so you can sit and sip your drink while letting cats crawl over and paw at you.
As for the cafe, the menu includes coffee drinks, such as Americanos, lattes, and espressos, as well as teas, lemonades and hot chocolate. There are treats such as scones, muffins, biscotti, and something called a “pawp tart.”
To fund the opening, Sinisgalli and Costello organized a Kickstarter where people who donated could design a drink and name it for a loved one or pet. Some specialty drinks generated by donors include the Gorgeous Hen, a citrus and spiced mocktail, Francocino, a cinnamon white mocha, and Pouncer’s latte, a hot honey latte.
“Working with those people was really special,” Sinisgalli said. “Hearing about their beloved pets and getting creative with drinks was a lot of fun.”
At Espurresso Cat Cafe, people will have the opportunity to adopt a cat on the spot, or merely pet, cuddle or observe.
Adoption fees are $125 for kittens (8 weeks to 5 months) and $60 for cats (6 months to 9 years). The fees will cover vaccinations, microchips and medical costs to spay and neuter the cat. All adoption fees go to the Lawrence Humane Society.
Regular hours will be 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday.
If our local journalism matters to you, please help us keep doing this work.
Don’t miss a beat … Click here to sign up for our email newsletters
Chansi Long (she/her) reported for The Lawrence Times from July 2022 through August 2023. Read more of her work for the Times here.