Would a cat café be a purr-fect addition to the Lincoln Park neighborhood? One woman thinks so. Jennifer Tiner is currently trying to raise enough money to open a cat-centric café called the “Windy Kitty,” at 1746 W North Avenue. The purpose of the cat café is to introduce cats to people who may want to adopt them, according to Tiner’s Indiegogo fundraising page. The Windy Kitty’s Indiegogo campaign has ended, but the Windy Kitty is selling merchandise through their Facebook page. The proceeds of each piece of merchandise sold will go toward opening the café.
The Windy Kitty aims to be a place where people can, “hang out with cats and no pressure to adopt,” as well as enjoy ethically sourced food and drinks. The café expects to accommodate 15 cats at a time, and patrons can walk in for a fee of $10 or can purchase a membership for $15. We reached out to the Windy Kitty and they told us that the $10 or $15 is the cost of admission to the café and doesn't include the cost of food or drinks, but patrons don't have to buy anything if they don't want to, and can just get to know the kitty-cat patrons. Besides introducing people to adoptable cats, the Windy Kitty would help keep stray cats off the street.
Tiner’s quest to open a cat café left us wondering: what locales are already pet-friendly? We searched high and low to find places where cats are welcome, but we only found one business that welcomes your feline friends. Perhaps a cat café is just what Chicago needs. If you're curious, here are our top eight picks for the best pet friendly spaces in Chicago.
1. 312 Chicago
171 W Randolph St. Chicago, IL 60601
312 Chicago treats your furry friends like royalty. Bring your dog to 312 Chicago’s “Waggin’ Weekends” on Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. where they can choose from a pet-friendly menu that includes peanut butter biscuits, salmon with white rice, carrots, celery, and cheese, and a “beefsicle” for dessert. 312 Chicago also offers homemade dog treats with the purchase of any dish.
1510 N Wells St. Chicago, IL 60610
At Benchmark, your dog can dine with you on the patio. Like 312 Chicago, your dog can enjoy food from their pet-friendly menu, such as a mini burger, chicken breast, and carrots. Benchmark also hosts an Instagram contest where patrons can post a picture of their dog to have a chance to win a $100 gift card to use at any bar that’s part of the Four Corners Tavern restaurant group.
840 N Wabash Ave. Chicago, IL 60611
The patio at this chic French restaurant is the perfect place to bring your dog. Bistronomic's patio offers plenty of shade, so both you and your dog can enjoy the weather in comfort. Human food on Bistronomic’s menu includes French favorites such as steak frites seasoned with black truffle salt and parmesan, crispy duck confit, handmade gnocchi, and more. They don’t offer any dog-friendly menu items, so you’ll have to bring your own treats or share some French food with your pup.
221 N Columbus Dr. Chicago, IL 60601
On Wednesdays, Filini hosts a BYOD (Bring Your Own Dog) event where guests can hang out with their dogs on the patio. Your dog can order a “Bad to the Bone” burger and “Frosty Paws” ice cream.
5. Lady Gregory’s Irish Bar & Restaurant
5260 N Clark St. Chicago, IL 60640
One of the very few public places you can bring your feline friend is Lady Gregory’s Irish Bar & Restaurant. Lady Gregory’s has a pet-friendly patio where people can bring their furry friends – kitties included. Lady Gregory’s offers a myriad of British and Irish fare, so you can share some of your fish and chips with your furry friend. This popular Andersonville bar recently opened a new location in Old Town as well, at 1525 N Wells Street.
Parks/Other Pet-Friendly Places in Chicago
7. Fido to Go
This “gourmutt” food truck offers your pet locally sourced, handmade treats on the go. Fido to Go specializes in pet friendly ice cream, frozen yogurt, cookies, cakes, and more. Follow Fido to Go on social media to learn more about the truck’s schedule.
8. Montrose Dog Beach
200 W Montrose Harbor Dr. Chicago, IL 60613Montrose Dog Beachis an off-leash, dog friendly beach is the perfect place to bring your dog for a day of fun in the sun throwing a Frisbee or playing catch. In order to bring your dog to the beach, you will have to purchase a DFA tag, which shows that your dog has all the necessary vaccinations and is in good health.
That rounds it out! If the Windy Kitty opens its doors, who else can't wait to get their paws on an adorable cat?