Photograph by Ethan Covey via Meow Parlour
New York City is getting its very own dog cafe this December! It will be called Boris & Horton, and soon it will be the first place in New York City specially designed to cater to both canines and humans. This comes after several cat cafes have opened to great fanfare in the past few years.
New York City is a bit of a latecomer to the pet cafe trend. Tokyo is home to 58 pet cafes, and even has a hedgehog cafe and an owl bar. Hopefully New York City will catch up, and the opening of Boris & Horton certainly looks like a step in the right direction.
In honor of Boris & Horton’s opening, and in celebration of pets everywhere, here’s a list of five of New York City’s best pet cafes.
Koneko is New York City’s first Japanese cat cafe. Unlike Meow Parlour, this cafe is modeled directly after Japan’s immensely popular pet cafes, where you can actually sit and have glasses of sake with a cat in your lap.
Designed by CO-Office, Koneko is located on the Lower East Side. It serves artisanal Japanese fare, wine, juices, and sake, as well as the company of twenty cats. The space is split into three parts: an Upper Cattery loft area, a smaller lounge area called the Lower Cattery, and a unique outdoor “Catio.”
The cafe is a social media hotspot, complete with beautiful art and graffiti honoring the elegance of the feline form. Its set of inquisitive, wide-eyed furry friends are certain to brighten any day. Cats are notoriously mysterious and their unique, individual personalities are always entertaining to watch. They can also provide a peaceful presence and some much needed relaxation; one of Koneko’s employees is a former cat meditation teacher (she clarified that this involves humans meditating among cats, emulating their peaceful, composed mannerisms).
William S. Burroughs said, “My relationship with my cats has saved me from a deadly, pervasive ignorance.” This could certainly be said for Benjamin Kalb, Koneko’s founder. Mr. Kalb, a chef and classical pianist, found himself facing some existential confusion following his graduation from the New School. A visit to Japan brought him to the cat cafe Calico, which inspired him to found what has become Koneko.
Visits to the cafe are $15 an hour, and some of the money goes to Anjellicle Cats Rescue, an organization that saves at-risk cats from New York City shelters.