First there were the pop-up cat cafes, an idea imported over from Asia, but for oh-so-limited a time here in New York City. Then came Meow Parlor combining coffee, cat-themed macarons and of course, real cats. Now, Koneko, taking its name for the word cat in Japanese, claiming to be “America’s first authentic Japanese-style cat cafe.” Like Meow Parlor, the cats can be adopted and at Koneko, the kitties come from Anjellicle Cats Rescue. Many of the cats you’ll see at Koneko are truly on the last stop, pulled from the city’s “at risk list,” those “scheduled to be euthanized the following day for behavior or health issues,” states the Koneko website. Koneko also works with two other New York City organizations, City Critters and K9 Kastle.
Visits to the Koneko Cattery are by reservation, at $15 per hour. The cafe features art by artists like Shepard Fairey, Ferg, Deth P. Sun, Tim Diet, and Ylla (Camilla Koffler 1911–1955). The Japanese-influenced menu even serves Japanese beer and sake in addition to Stumptown Coffee. The cafe is a cat paradise with runways, tunnels and perches for cats and even a Cat Garden in the back.