At noon today, New York City's very first cat cafe, Meow Parlour, will officially open its doors to the first lucky few who managed to snag themselves a reservation for opening day. Ahead of that big debut, Eater got a sneak peek inside Christina Ha and Emilie Legrand's small cat kingdom on Hester Street, where seven cats currently roam (eventually there could be as many as 12).
Do take a look around, because for the opening weeks, the chances of getting in without a reservation (which are currently booked up for the next two months) will be slim. They're keeping it limited to 20 visitors at a time for now, and waiting to take walk-ins until things settle down.
The cafe half of the cat cafe, which, to keep the Health Department happy, is in a separate space around the corner at 34 Ludlow Street, is also easing into things. It should soft open later this afternoon, and for now visitors will have to go get their cat-shaped cookies there, then bring them to the cat room. But eventually, coffee and snacks will be delivered straight to the cat space. Given that the spaces are separate, do also note that it's not free to hang out with the cats. It costs $4 per half hour to visit, or $30 to spend a full five hours, the maximum amount of time allowed.