It’s well known that the French are great dog lovers, and that your pooch is welcome to enter almost any shop or restaurant that you are when you find yourself traveling with Fido in Paris. But cats? In a cafe in the tony 3rd arrondissement? Cat lovers rejoice! If your family is missing its feline member during your travels, there’s a place in France…
Le Café des Chats now has two locations in the center of Paris. The original one–which opened in 2013 in the Marais, a stone’s throw from the Centre Pompidou — proved so popular (reservations are recommended generally, and on weekends, essential) that its owners opened a second kitty emporium last autumn nearby in the 11th arrondissement, near the Place de la Bastille. Marie-Claire of the Café des Chats told me that the second neighborhood “is very different and attracts yet a wider range of cat lovers.”
The lucky cats are all rescues that are being given another chance at life in an enviable situation. While the cafe is not itself in the cat adoption business, a portion of its profits go to rescue activities. “We wanted to show how a cat from a shelter is deserving and capable of affection,” says M-C.
Les chats have pretty much free run of the place, although lunch guests are prohibited from feeding them table scraps, tempting though it may be. The cafe calls itself “un salon de thé et un restaurant,” and happily the food from its full-service kitchen is not an afterthought to the gimmick, but is absolutely delicious in a traditional Parisian way, and the management seeks out organic produce. Both restaurant locations are open for lunch and dinner, and they also serve a yummy weekend brunch. Our daughter had a croque monsieur, and her parents enjoyed a veggie-and-chevre quiche with a salad. And a bowl of cream.
Is this proof that Parisians treat their pets better than they do their children? Peut-etre. Meeooooow…
I was told the other day that 1/3 of Boston’s population is composed of students. 1/3. Considering Boston’s population is now well over 600,000 people, that calculates to about 200,000 students in the city alone. This would not be as significant if it were not for all the student-run businesses that have sprung up as a result, including the small concert-cafe known as Cafe 939.
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