A new cat cafe has found the purrfect location to open up near South Broadway.
Teddy Cat Cafe, named for owner Sarah Thomas’ orange tabby, Teddy, is aiming to open its doors to patrons starting in mid-to-late September.
The cafe, located just off South Broadway at 39 E. Florida Ave., will offer a limited selection of cat-themed merchandise, coffee and cold drinks for customers. The real attraction, though, will be the cats.
“I want it to be a great neighborhood space; young, old, students, I want kids in there. I would love to eventually have some volunteers in there,” Thomas said.
Teddy Cat will charge an entry fee of $12 for adults and $10 for seniors, military personnel and ages 6 through 17.
Cats that Thomas is fostering from the Denver Animal Shelter will live in the cafe and be available for adoption. The ultimate goal of her space is to take pressure off the shelter and increase the number of cats that are adopted in the city.
She plans on being open six days a week, from roughly 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday.
Thomas’ focus will be on adult cats, specifically those that are shy, older, under socialized, bonded pairs needing to be adopted together and cats who have been at the shelter the longest.
Adult cats will cost $95 to adopt, kittens will be $110.
Thomas’ journey to opening up her cat cafe started in the pandemic, when she began volunteering once a week at the Denver Animal Shelter. Previously, she had worked as a mortgage banker.
“It gave me more enjoyment of doing this free work than the career I’d had for eight years,” she said.
Eventually, her passion of caring for cats led Thomas to the idea that she should start a cat cafe.
“When I first came up with the idea last year it sounded crazy, crazy cat lady stuff, but I told my best friend Paige Harris about it and she was really excited and said she would even work there. She passed away on Christmas Day 2021. So, this is an ode to her,” Thomas said.
In March, Thomas left her day job and began to hunt for locations for her cat cafe.
“Commercial lending is confusing, it’s sort of messy – it’s sort of like a boys club, as well. And so it’s very difficult; a lot of businesses are not on the market. You know, it’s there behind closed doors. It’s who you know, and that’s how you get into these places,” she said.
After enlisting the help of her broker, Annie Liston at Hughes Morino, Thomas settled on a spot. Just under 1,100 square feet, the building was once home to The Ten Penny Store, a thrift shop. John Livaditis of AXIO Commercial Real Estate represented the landlord.
Only three people will be working at the cafe when it opens: Thomas, her mother and a longtime friend.
“Life is short so be in the business that makes you happy,” Thomas said. “Saving cats is what I was meant to do.”