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Cat Cafe 'Little Lions' Coming to SoHo

By Danielle Tcholakian | September 28, 2015 3:10pm | Updated on September 29, 2015 6:46pm
 Little Lions is opening on Grand Street in the next two to three months, the leasing agent that closed the deal said.
Little Lions is opening on Grand Street in the next two to three months, the leasing agent that closed the deal said.
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Composite: Shutterstock/Alena Ozerova; inset: Facebook/Little Lions

SOHO — A new "cat cafe" is opening on Grand Street.

Little Lions, slated to open in a split storefront at 38-40 Grand St. in the next two or three months, is the result of a crowd-sourcing campaign launched a year ago by a feline-loving alum of the tech industry.

Erin McShane raised more than her hoped-for $65,000 to open her teahouse and "cat sanctuary," where customers will get to sip their tea or coffee while cuddling kittens from the organization she volunteers with, Angellicle Cat Rescue.

"Following a successful crowdfunding campaign last fall and countless hours of hard work, we are so thrilled to be within months of opening Little Lions," McShane told DNAinfo in an email.

Some of the cats will also come from Animal Care and Control, according to the Little Lions website, and will be hand picked so their personalities are suited to playing with humans and other cats. McShane plans to have eight to 12 cats in the space at a time.

The place "will be as lively and chic as its SoHo address," she added.

The 1,660-square-foot space allows her to neatly circumvent Health Department rules that prohibit animals in an eatery by keeping the little lions in one storefront that is totally separate from the cafe. The cats will be visible from the cafe behind a glass wall, and visitors can gain entry by paying an admission fee. McShane said the fee is not yet finalized, but will likely be between $8 and $12.

The cafe will have roughly 25 seats, the New York Post reported.

It will serve gourmet tea and coffee alongside baked goods and "a wide array of cat-themed cookies and cakes," according to Eastern Consolidated leasing agent James Famularo, who closed the deal for the landlord.

“This is a very interesting concept and the landlord was intrigued and excited at the opportunity of having one of the city’s first cat cafés in his building,” Famularo said.

Famularo said the landlord is, conveniently, an animal lover. McShane signed a 10-year lease, the agent said.

McShane plans to offer wine and beer in the cafe as well, but has not yet applied to the State Liquor Authority for a license. She will have to go before Community Board 2's SLA committee.

McShane said she hopes to expand into Williamsburg and the Upper West Side next. Her projected opening date for the SoHo cafe is late November or early December.

"Little Lions will have an amazing atmosphere and be dedicated to helping our needy feline friends," McShane promised.

Another local cat cafe, Meow Parlour, opened last year on Hester Street.