After living abroad in both Japan and Vietnam for the past 3 years, Caitlin Unsell fell in love with the cat cafe culture. While she wasn’t busy teaching Kindergarten in Japan, she visited every cat cafe possible, dreaming of opening her own upon her return to Seattle. “Japan is home to hundreds of cat cafes, and after visiting and researching dozens of them, I returned to Seattle with a clear vision,” Caitlin says. “I’ve always envisioned starting my own small business and couldn’t wait to combine my love of animals and hosting friends, to create a surprising, unexpected and extraordinary place.”
With lots of hardwork and determination, NEKO — Seattle’s very own cat cafe, was born in the heart of Capitol Hill.
Prior to living overseas, Caitlin spent nearly 10 years working in restaurants and coffee shops and she’s always loved hosting and creating the perfect ambiance. The combination of her love for cats and a decade in the restaurant industry made NEKO a natural progression that quickly became a Seattle “must-see” destination. It’s a cozy and unique place where you and your friends can go for happy hour while feeling good from the inside out. “It’s become a sanctuary for rescue cats and humans to relax while giving hard-to-adopt cats a place to find their “purrrfect” match,” Caitlin says, “and I love watching customers faces light up when they walk in the door and see the beautiful cats!
Unlike most cat cafes, NEKO’s serves beer, wine, coffee, and snacks. Their menu consists of “nibbles” like cat shaped cookies and unique Japanese teas and sodas. With a wide selection of boozy drinks and ciders on tap, they’ve been able to introduce new beers to Seattle like Pale Ales infused with Catnip & Blueberries and Tokyo Black Porters from Japanese breweries.