SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC NEWS) — A month after Pawsitivitea Cat Cafe and Lounge opened in the Central New York Regional Market, the business is seeing success in the Syracuse community. The idea of a cat cafe is a place where people can eat, drink and interact with cats. All of the cats at Pawsitivitea need homes and can be adopted by any of the customers of the cafe.
Alisha Reynolds is the owner of the cafe. She had the idea for the cafe in 2017 after getting inspired by visiting other cat cafes. She was planning on opening the cafe earlier in the year, but the pandemic delayed her opening. Nonetheless, she decided to open last month. Reynolds said she would not let the pandemic stop her from opening her business.
“I mean everyone’s got to make a start somewhere. And I’m paying for the space here. And you know it’s something unique to the community and something people seem to be really happy about, so I figured it was alright,” Reynolds said.
Due to the pandemic, Reynolds has put in many measures to keep her customers safe. She limits the amount of people in the cafe at one time by requiring reservations. Another measure she put in place is frequently sanitizing the surfaces that people come into contact with. Though it takes extra effort for customers to visit the cafe, customer Katie Juhas said her incentive to visit is to get out of the house.
“It’s nice to snuggle with the cats and have something fun to do as opposed to just sitting home,” Juhas said.
Since opening her business, Reynolds said she has seen a positive response from the community. She has not done a grand opening yet, and though not every day is completely booked, she said the weekends have been very busy recently. She attributes the success of her business to the stress of the pandemic.
“People are just thrilled to be able to come meet cats and stuff whether they want to be adopted or not. And then to have a nice place to just kind of relax a little bit and ignore what is going on in the rest of the world for a little while. It’s just kind of a nice little comfort zone,” Reynolds said.
According to Business Insider, over 100,000 small businesses have closed their doors due to the pandemic. However, clearly, the pandemic could not stop Reynolds from offering a cuddly experience to the Syracuse community.