The Cheshire Grin Cat Cafe will open in Benton Park

Co-owners Paul Scimone and Kateri Cotter will open Benton Park’s first cat cafe, The Cheshire Grin Cat Cafe, at 1926 Cherokee St., on. Aug. 3.

Scimone said the cafe will serve two purposes: a neighborhood cafe with coffee and baked goods and a place to meet adoptable felines from local animal rescue organizations like Stray Rescue, the APA and St. Louis City's Animal Care and Control.

“We are adopting out cats that come from dire situations and high-stress shelters in hopes of giving our cats a better home later in the future,” Scimone said.

The cats are housed in an area separate from where food and drink are prepared. Guests book time online with the cats for $5 an hour (the fee goes toward animal care, Scimone said), then purchase beverages or snacks before joining the cats. 

“When you walk in, there is a mini cafe. If you choose, that leads to a large area where adoptable cats are free roaming,” Scimone said. “[There are also] big windows where you can peak in and watch from cafe area.”  

The cafe will serve a variety of espresso-based coffee drinks including lattes, mochas, cold brews and more. Cotter will bake some of the pastries in house, like the Pink Panther cake (a white chocolate-raspberry cake) and Russian Blue-berry Muffins. Other baked goods will be sourced from local vendors.

“If you’re looking for a cool spot to have a meeting, grab a coffee or work on your laptop while watching some cats we think it is an ideal spot,” said Scimone.

The cafe will operate Friday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. before expanding days of operation in the near future. 

Marcelle Owona is an editorial intern at Sauce Magazine.