First came the Cat Cafe, and now (maybe) the Dog Cafe.
If Maggie Chan and Mandy Chow have it their way, pups of all ages will be playing and up for adoption in NYC's first Dog Cafe by this spring.
The two friends love dogs, but don't have any of their own because of the myriad NYC-related issues that make dog ownership hard: apartment is small, time to walk and care for the animals is scarce, dogs are expensive. And so after visiting dog cafes in Korea and playing with many strays on a trip to Puerto Rico, their plan was hatched.
The Dog Cafe is currently trying to raise $70,000 on Indiegogo. They are far from meeting their goal, but Chow says they will not abandon the idea if they don't get the funds through crowdsourcing. Instead, they will look for investors, and according to Chow, they have some that are interested, including her mother's boss who is involved in multiple businesses in NYC.
They are looking for a large space in Manhattan, upwards of 2,000-square-feet, says Chow. The hunt has been difficult, she said, but that much space is necessary. Inside the cafe, there will be a glassed in "playground" for the dogs. Guests can enjoy light bites and coffee and watch the dogs, or they can just play with the dogs. There will be separate entrances for the cafe and the playground.
Dogs will be up for adoption and partnerships will be created with local shelters. The animals will not live at the Cafe, but rather will be brought from the shelters daily.
Chow said she has spoken with the Department of Health about the plans already, and put in an application, which is pending.
Chow and Chan were inspired by the popularity of the Purina pop-up Cat Cafe and the permanent Meow Parlour, but Chow thinks dogs are more popular than cats.
"I saw the lines that wrapped around the corner," she said excitedly.
Both Chan and Chow are from New York City and are 24 years old. Chow currently works as an IT consultant and is eager for the Dog Cafe to become a reality.
"I'm very excited," she said. "I can't wait to quit my job and just work in the Dog Cafe!"