Boston’s first-ever cat cafe just gained zoning approval and could open in time for spring in the new year. The city’s zoning board granted approval for Purr Cat Cafe to open up in a long-vacant space at 167 Chestnut Hill Ave., as Universal Hub reported.
Purr is the work of founder Diane Kelly, who has spent more than a year building the concept and finding a location that would support her idea. While her first request was denied, the appeal to the zoning board was a success, and Kelly can now proceed with her plans to build out the space and fill it with furry friends.
Kelly is working with attorneys Nicholas Zozula and Joseph Hanley on the zoning decision, which will be submitted to the board and signed on January 10 before it is submitted to inspectional services. After a 20-day appeal period, Kelly can move forward with architect David O’Sullivan to obtain a building permit in early February and begin construction, which she estimates will take about six weeks.
Some time in January, Kelly will launch an IndieGogo campaign to support Purr, she told Eater in an email. Right now, she is running a promotion on the Purr website to drum up early support, offering those who donate $10 to Purr’s rescue partner, Boston Forgotten Felines, a chance to win a private party with 25 cats and 30 friends.
Kelly said she was grateful for the support from Nicholas, Peter, and Kostantinos Davos, Purr’s landlords, as well as Tom Slayton of Centre Realty Group, who helped her secure a location for the cafe.
Once Purr opens, Kelly will bring in up to 20 felines at a time, and customers will be able to book blocks of time to spend at the cafe, which will have free wifi and will bring in food from another establishment that has not yet been chosen. Customers will even be able to adopt cats from the cafe, as The Boston Globe noted.
Kelly has already hired a general manager for Purr: Sarah Dellea has been working with Kelly for a few months and will help run the cafe. Kelly also has an assistant general manager and will start interviewing for staff, or “cat guides,” in January. Purr will also host events, which Kelly is working to plan, and Quincy artist Victor Osorio has designed merchandise for Purr Cat Cafe.
The space will be able to accommodate up to 40 people, Kelly told the Globe, and an hourly fee will be around $15. Customers can also drop in, provided there is room, and all patrons will be required to sign a waiver.
• Pawsitive News for Brighton: Board Approves Cat Cafe — and Greek Food [UH]
• A Cat Cafe Is Definitely Coming to Boston, and You'll Know Where Soon [EBOS]
• Boston Is Finally Getting a Cat ‘Cafe’ [BG]
• All Purr Cat Cafe Coverage on Eater [EBOS]