The Lower East Side grew ten cats stronger yesterday with the opening of Koneko, NYC's newest cat cafe located on Clinton Street. Koneko is the latest and hopefully not the last addition to New York's growing feline dining scene, joining the ranks of Brooklyn's The Cat's Meow and Meow Parlor, another LES-based kitty coffee shop a mere 12-minute walk away. Within a one-mile radius, you now have two opportunities to replenish your soul with the withholding yet tender love of man's true best friend and intellectual superior. Slowly but surely, the city inches toward utopia.
In a sparse but cozy front room adorned with the headshots of glamorous mystery cats, Koneko offers a small menu of drinks, Stumptown coffee, Japanese-inspired snacks, and pastries curated from bakeries in the area. This is the first cat cafe in NYC to serve alcohol, so cat people can forego the dated formality of human association and enjoy their beer, wine, and sake in the infinitely more pleasant company of silent animals. The cats, though friendly, aren't permitted to enter the cafe space due to Health Department rules, but visitors can bring their food and drinks with them into the two-floor "cattery" at the back.
With beanbags, kitty kaves, and plenty of platforms for the cats to climb on, the spacious cattery is an ideal chill space for both human visitors and feline residents. Koneko also has a small outdoor Cat Garden, which will open in a few days. Many of the pet supplies lying around the cattery are available for purchase at Koneko's store; more importantly, the cats are available for adoption through Anjellicle Cats Rescue, a non-profit that pulls cats from the city's "at-risk" list of animals that are scheduled to be euthanized. All of the cats brought to Koneko are chosen for their social nature and are sure to make excellent, stand-offish roommates.
Reservations are recommended for the cattery, and although kids under eight aren't allowed to hang with the cats, Koneko will host some kids-only days down the line. The cafe is open Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. and until midnight Friday through Sunday. The cattery closes at 9 p.m. each night, as well as from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. for cat naps.