The latest in an international movement, a new café in Menomonie invites local cat-lovers to a new gathering place.

Officially opened on Monday, Tabby’s Catfé at 541 S. Broadway #1 offers a coffee shop, breakfast spot, a variety of beverages, including a curated list of wines and craft beers, and deli dining experience in the front portion of what was the former Muza Law Office building.

The early 1900s building has been refurbished to include the main attraction — a spacious kitty lounge set up as an interactive play space occupied by adoptable felines for cat lovers and cat-curious folks — that leads out to a securely fenced-in courtyard, or “catio” for patrons and felines alike to enjoy as weather permits.

This middle zone of Tabby’s Catfé is a foster home for three to five adoptable cats from the Dunn County Humane Society. Until adopted, the cats will live full time in comfortable surroundings at Menomonie’s first and only kitty catfé lounge where people and cats can exist in an area of mutual entertainment and benefit. Cat toys, climbers, shelves, and ramps designed for kitty mischief.

Comfortable couches and free high-speed internet are available for work or study. Only beverages — only beverages — are allowed in the cat lounge and courtyard.

Currently housing nearly 100 cats, the partnership between the Humane Society and Tabby’s Catfé holds the promise of homes for the three to five cats who will occupy these unique new quarters. Available at Tabby’s, adoption applications are reviewed by the Humane Society. And for those who aren’t in a position to have a cat of their own at home, the catfé offers the opportunity for feline companionship.

Although no cats are allowed in the front dining area, it has a simple and fresh charm of its own with original hardwood floors and a hint of the hidden brick walls along with a rustic mosaic-like pallet board ceiling throughout the interior. The iconic cover illustration from Millions of Cats, the Newbery Honor award-winning children’s book written by Wanda Gág in 1928, adorns the base of the counter where customers place their orders. In addition to breakfast goodies, the menu features homemade soups, build-your-own deli sandwiches, and salads. Specialty sandwiches like The Tabby (pressed on marble rye with swiss cheese, arugula, tomatoes, onions and horseradish sauce) cater to all tastes.

Owned by local entrepreneur Karlyn Davis, along with partners Amber Georgakopoulos and Tanya and Lee Young, Tabby’s Catfé is open seven days a week from 7:30 a.m. to close every day, with a rotating calendar of special events.

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Dunn County News editor

Barbara Lyon is the editor of The Dunn County News in Menomonie, WI.

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