Is Charleston ready for its first Cat Cafe? Ashley Brooks thinks so. The employee at D.C.’s Crumbs and Whiskers is planning to launch her own kitty bistro, Pounce: Cat Cafe and Wine Bar in Charleston this summer. 

For those unfamiliar with the growing cat cafe trend, the idea isn’t a Purina-serving pop-up for kittens. Rather, cat cafes offer human clients a place to hang out and have a drink — in the case of Pounce, an alcoholic one — while chilling with felines. 

“The way that the one works in D.C. is we’ve partnered with Washington D.C. Humane Society,” explains Brooks. Guests pay an hourly cover charge of $15 to hang out and have coffee, but they can adopt the cats too, she says. Essentially the cafe fosters the cats before they can find a forever home, hopefully with one of the cafe regulars. Brooks hopes to do the same here with the Charleston Humane Society.

While Pounce is still very much in its infancy, Brooks has already spoken with the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control to discuss codes, safety, and sewage. The feedback was positive she says, specifically in regards to her plan to follow San Francisco cat cafe Kittea’s concept — cats are kept on one side of the building, the kitchen on the other, and no food or tea may be served around the animals. 

Like Crumbs and Whiskers, Brooks plans to Kickstart Pounce sometime this winter, but she admits she’s not sure if the city will support the idea. “I have no idea if it’s going to work in Charleston. I know people love animals. There are always dogs outside at every restaurant, not to mention being a wine bar, it would add to whole scene,” she says. For now Pounce is just a self-proclaimed crazy cat lady’s dream, but if all goes to plan, Brooks hopes to have a location finalized by next summer.

Cover image by Flickr user htakashi

Stay cool. Support City Paper.

City Paper has been bringing the best news, food, arts, music and event coverage to the Holy City since 1997. Support our continued efforts to highlight the best of Charleston with a one-time donation or become a member of the City Paper Club.