The wait is (almost) over.
The highly-anticipated Black Cat Market, a café that will feature adoptable cats, plus coffee and assorted bakery treats, is officially coming to Lawrenceville.
Owners Olivia Ciotoli and Indigo Baloch just announced on social media that the café will be located at 5171 Butler Street, a location with “big bright windows, free street parking, easy bus access and more.”
Back in 2016, Ciotoli and Baloch joined forces, and launched a Kickstarter campaign to bring the cat café concept to Pittsburgh. They had a successful campaign, raising more than $20,000 to launch the restaurant, but, Ciotoli says, it took some time to find the right space.
“We found a couple of places that we fell in love with, but they all fell through for various reasons,” Ciotoli says. “But honestly, we’re so glad that the other places fell through, because we just love this location so much.”
Black Cat Market will pair a traditional café experience with adoptable cats and kittens. The café will have a designated ‘cat’ room in the back, where guests and visitors can interact and play with the cats, which will be completely separate from the food and beverage serving area.
The café will feature coffee and tea drinks using an all-Pittsburgh lineup of suppliers, including Three Rivers Tea, which has an expertise in Japanese tea service.
“Since the cat café concept originated in Japan and Taiwan, we really wanted to pay our respects to that culture,” Ciotoli says.
Coffee will be supplied by Grounds & Hounds Coffee Company, a local coffee roaster that donates 20% of their proceeds to animal rescue partners. And espresso will come from Zeke’s, along with a variety of baked goods.
“We’re going to have a small menu to start, and most of our baked goods will be from Zeke’s,” Ciotoli says. “Their baked goods are so good, and they also have a lot of vegan options, so we’ll have something for everyone.”
And that includes lots of loveable cats for visitors to play with.
Black Cat Market will be working with Humane Animal Rescue, which will be choosing cats and kittens to stay in the café. Ciotoli expects that they’ll have about seven cats at any given time, and they will all be adoptable.
“We’re getting trained on the adoption process, and so theoretically, you can come in, fall in love with a cat, and take it home the same day,” Ciotoli says.
The cat room will be in the back of the café, which will be visible through a large picture window from the front of the café. There will be a small fee to enter the cat room, and reservations will be available, though walk-ins will be welcome, too.
Once the café is ready to open, the cats will have a few extra days to become acclimated to their new living arrangements.
“We want the cats to feel as safe and as comfortable as possible, so we want them to be there for a little while to get used to the space before we officially open,” Ciotoli says.
Ciotoli says that there is still some work to do on the space, but that they expect the cafe to be open in December.
Black Cat Market (5171 Butler Street)