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Appetite: Mount Purrnon Aims to Give Cat, Café Lovers a Treat
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Appetite: Mount Purrnon Aims to Give Cat, Café Lovers a Treat

Soon, Alexandrians may be able to enjoy a side of cat cuddles with their coffee and pastries. Mount Purrnon, spearheaded by Kristin Cowan and Adam Patterson, would blend all the comforts of a café with all the fuzziness of a dozen felines.

The cat café — which would be the first in Northern Virginia — has been a longtime dream for the duo.

“We went to the (cat café) in Charleston called Pounce Back and had a great time,” Patterson said. “After that, (Cowan) said, ‘I’ve got to do this.’”

After a springtime fundraising campaign, reality has begun to set in: locations, permits and all.

“We did a Kickstarter campaign back in May and we got it funded,” Patterson said. “Now we’re just in the process of looking for a location, and once we get a location that’s when we can apply for the permits and the ABC license.”

The popularity of cat cafes has surged in recent years; Patterson says there are now more than 80 locations within the United States. Within the region, the most popular café is Crumbs and Whiskers in Washington, which now sports a sister location in Los Angeles. And the trend continues to grow, with cafes in Denver and more.

The vision for Mount Purrnon is twofold: To serve food and drink in one room and to offer plenty of kitty quality time in the other. And, of course, to get the resident cats adopted. Think of the café as sort of a public foster home — with snacks.

“You can go between (the rooms) if you want, but you don’t have to,” Patterson said. “We’ll probably have about 12 cats at a time, and they’ll all be up for adoption.”

Mount Purrnon is also addressing any food safety issues before they arise: All snacks and treats will be prepackaged and made off-site to avoid any cross-contamination.

And speaking of the food: Cowan and Patterson aim to offer an array of cookies, cupcakes, cheese plates, fruit and more. Wash it down with coffee, juice or something stronger — Mount Purrnon aims to sell beer and wine, as well — for a balanced meal.

Mount Purrnon’s ideal location would be along King Street in Old Town, Patterson said.

“We’re trying to find a good place that has a big window where people can walk by and see them,” he said.

As dreams become reality, Cowan and Patterson are ready for whatever comes next, Patterson said.

“We’re both very, very excited,” he said. “It’s a new adventure.”

Mount Purrnon’s target opening date is early 2019.

Hope Nelson owns and operates the Kitchen Recessionista blog, located at www.kitchenrecessionista.com. Email her any time at hope@kitchenrecessionista.com.