#FlashbackFriday: Happy Tabby Cat Cafe / by Tarver Siebert

The plans for Happy Tabby were first announced in November of 2015. It took the team 9 months to demo and refurbish the building that the cafe now calls home. Happy Tabby occupies two 120-year-old, historic, commercial spaces in the heart of the up-and-coming Old 4th Ward district in Downtown Atlanta. Our doors opened in the summer of 2017.
— April Hill, happytabbycatcafe.com



Hill gutted the building -- which was built in 1901 and previously served as a barbershop where Martin Luther King Jr. got his hair cut -- and redid the electrical systems and plumbing.

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Then she worked with the design team here at MT Studio Architecture in order to bring her vision to life!

Customers can now pay by $8 an hour to play with kitties in Happy Tabby’s “cat room”. Currently home to 17 cats, all up for adoption through FurKids animal rescue organization, the space will eventually host up to 25, according to owner April Hill. The room — a veritable cat paradise outfitted with a loft, hammocks and a variety of cat toys — holds 30 people, and Hill says if it’s not at capacity, she’ll allow people to stay longer. For customers who prefer to cat watch rather than cat interact, a partition made of giant windows Hill collected from old houses around the city separates the cafe from the cat room.

The cafe portion of Happy Tabby, set to open in the next few days, will serve drinks including lattes, cold brews and teas, and plans to offer pre-made, packaged foods from a rotating list of local purveyors including King of Pops and Highland Bakery. Hill is working with San Francisco Coffee Roasting Co. on the beverages and also developed a special dark roast with Mexican and Peruvian beans that’ll serve as Happy Tabby’s house roast and will be available for purchase.
— Atlanta Journal Constitution, AJC.com