CARROLLWOOD — Kim Ruiz Lozada is positively excited. Her vision for a chic cat café that is unlike anything most people have seen is finally coming together, and the expected grand opening will be this spring.
Working in partnership with St. Francis Society Animal Rescue to foster cats on site for adoption, Feline will offer a space for animal lovers to get their fill of feline affection. The location will be 12924 N. Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa, and its hours will be from noon to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday.
Lozada is advertising the café as an upscale lounge, and patrons will certainly enjoy a different vibe. Diners can experience one of four lounge spaces to sip some wine and eat some Latin-inspired dishes before their allotted time is ready for the cat room.
“It’s a cat café at its core, but it’s a very vibe-y, lounge-y environment. There’s nothing cutesy about it,” Lozada said. “I’ve been working with Julie Ramirez of New Day Interior Design for a year to get the right feel. The décor is unbelievable, so when you talk about Instagram and so on, it’s going to definitely be a spot.”
The lounge will be separated in sections: a vintage area will feature love seats, a posh area will feature a velvet banquette with tables, a boho chic area has a wicker vibe, and the back room is for events or to be used as a virtual work space.
Patrons can purchase tickets to visit the cat room for an hour at a time. Reservations are recommended and some walk-ins are accepted depending on availability. Up to three or four people can visit the cat room at a time where they can play or watch the cats interact with an activity wall.
“There’s a lot going on in other areas of Tampa but not necessarily in north Tampa/Carrollwood,” Lozada said. “I think Feline is definitely going to attract a lot of people even more so because of its concept.”
With a background in corporate human resources for more than 20 years, Lozada made a complete switch to business owner. A friend of hers planted the seed about her opening a cat café, and after doing some research, it was something she wanted to bring to Tampa.
The café will feature 8-10 cats and patrons may see cats from kittenhood to adults. Lozada said partnering with St. Francis Society Animal Rescue felt like a good fit, and she’s looking forward to helping the rescue find homes for these cats.
In addition to partnering with a rescue, Feline will offer tapas by Courtney’s Custom Catering and a selection of desserts through Selena Tucker and Kat Davis with S&K Bakery.
“A lounge is not a club, it’s not a bar or a coffee shop,” Lozada said. “It’s an amalgamation of a variety of different things. Traditional cat cafes from my understanding will have bagels and pastries, little sweets with some coffee. Mine is a small bistro. We’re serving wine and beer, and high-end food.”
The menu will feature mouthwatering flavors such as bacon wrapped sweet plantains, empanadas served with a mango salsa, vegan black bean hummus and pita chips, shrimp ceviche, and children’s items.
To learn more about Feline and to keep an eye out for its opening, visit http://www.felinecbl.com/.
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