Meow! Cat cafe coming soon to downtown Asheville


The Asheville Downtown Commission on Friday approved a wording change to downtown zoning regulations that will allow Brother Wolf Animal Rescue to open a “cat cafe.”

Denise Bitz, executive director of Brother Wolf, said the proposed cat cafe would be part adoption center and part coffee stop. Any food would be made off-premise and brought in for sale, she said in addressing health concerns.

A cat cafe “is a creative way to get cats out of a busy shelter” that can be loud and stressful, Bitz said. The organization has 50,000 followers on Facebook, and when it suggested an Asheville cat cafe in a recent Facebook post, it became Brother Wolf’s most popular FB post ever (beating out a photo of some sexy local firemen walking dogs, she said.)

Brother Wolf hopes to adopt 500 more cats a year through the downtown cat cafe, Bitz told the commission. The cat cafe would hold about 20 to 25 cats on any given day, she said.

“We are a very dog-centric town, so we want to give some feline love to cats,” Bitz said. Brother Wolf doesn’t have a proposed location, though it had been eyeing a spot on Battle Square that has subsequently been rented, she said.

And yeah, Portland opened its first cat cafe earlier this year.

In other action, the Asheville Downtown Commission:

-voted to elect member Adrian Vassallo its chairman.

-approved a zoning change for 202 Asheland Avenue to “central business district.” Staffers said they’re prepared to restart action to bring the entire Asheland Avenue corridor under the city’s central business district zoning regulations. Asheland parallels Coxe Avenue, a part of the city’s central business district that has been booming with new small business development – namely craft breweries and restaurants, over the past few years.

Image link for cat cafe.


Cynthia July 20, 2015 - 4:17 pm

Melbourne Australia has a cat cafe which is hugely popular. You can purchase coffee and baked goods in their cafe and when finished eating, spend some time with the cats. The $10 charged goes toward cat spay/neuter in area communities. While my daughter was attending a semester of college in Melbourne and greatly missing her pets, this was the perfect place for a kitty-fix. I believe our Asheville community will indeed support such an effort. Kudos to Brother Wolf for their forward thinking!

Noah July 13, 2015 - 10:44 pm

that would be the best thing ever. When would a cat cafe come to Asheville?!

Melissa July 13, 2015 - 11:34 am

Obviously it won’t be a place for everyone. People tend to have very strong opinions of cats. It seems that you either hat them or love them. I love them and love this idea. I look forward to checking it out and visiting with some cute kitties.

Hannah A July 12, 2015 - 4:15 pm

I think this is a fabulous idea. I live an hour away and plan to make this a possible weekly thing with my girlfriends.

Christine Johnson July 12, 2015 - 2:02 pm

This is so amazingly good for downtown Asheville. All you people with your negative comments can just stop and not go there. If a cat cafe is not for you, go to Starbucks. Cats need loving homes like mine.

cwaster July 12, 2015 - 7:50 am

Awesome. I’d shop there.

Harry July 11, 2015 - 7:30 pm

“How would you like your coffee sir?” Light cream and cat hair for me please.

Selene July 11, 2015 - 4:17 pm

I understand the need for adoptions, but keeping 20-25 cats at an eating establishment seems like a bad idea. Maybe the people of Portland Oregon will support a place that charges $8.00 just to enter the cat room, and maybe not. Time will tell. I don’t see this kind of business surviving in Asheville.

chris July 11, 2015 - 5:45 pm

I think you may underestimate BW’s reach and audience.

Selene July 13, 2015 - 11:10 am

Maybe, Brother Wolf is very popular I know! I still picture this store being pretty empty in winter months, and most people balking at an admission fee to see housecats.

Nate July 13, 2015 - 10:31 pm

If it’s being run by a non-profit, and their primary goal is increasing cat adoptions, my guess is that they will dispense with hourly fees and just charge for the products they sell.

matt July 11, 2015 - 2:47 pm
Barry Summers July 11, 2015 - 11:49 am

I feel bad pouring cream and sugar on them, but OK – here goes…

NFB July 11, 2015 - 9:18 am

Just keep them away from my bird feeder.

Santa July 11, 2015 - 8:41 am

Somebody somewhere once said “You what this cafe needs is a whole room full of cats.”

Big Al July 11, 2015 - 5:39 am

Cats are good eatin’. Mmmmmm…

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