When I first heard that a cat café was coming to Niagara Street, I immediately thought of old couches, gnarled cat tree houses, and a bunch of scratching posts. Never in a million years did I think along the lines of contemporary. But that’s exactly what Buckminster’s Cat Café is – it’s on par with some of Buffalo’s streamlined loft conversions. The pitting together of business owner Molly Hutton and building owner Giles Kavanagh has resulted in an inspirational café setting that is as beneficial for people as it is for cats. The designers that led this charge on this project are Stephanie Davidson, Georg Rafailidis, and John Banaszak, who also designed Tipico Café (another building once owned by Kavanagh). Carl Russo, CFR Construction & Restoration, was the general contractor.
Not only is the interior of the building a remarkable feat, the exterior is a sight for sore eyes. The facade features a restored cornice, new windows, and striking cast iron columns. The building really pops now – it’s a welcome addition to a part of Niagara Street that is know for a slew of unkempt buildings that are in desperate need of repair. Hopefully this project will help to get some other property owners inspired.
In the front of the café, guests are invited to chill out in a contemporary setting that focuses on two things – sleek design and inspired eats. Hutton told me that menu items range from a hummus platter to a French toast breakfast sandwich, with plenty of vegan options. Hutton has also applied for a beer and wine license, which hopefully won’t take much longer to acquire.
Now, if you’re thinking that there are cats running around everywhere while people are dining, that’s not the case. The frolicking pets are sequestered to the back, in their own sophisticated glass enclosed digs. For those that want to visit and play with the cats, all of which are up for adoption, all one has to do is sign up for a session. The ideal visit might entail grabbing a cup of coffee and something to eat, before spending some time in the cat compound (more like a palace). The accommodations for the felines have a wide assortment of hidden hideaways and lookout stations, where the furry inhabitants can stretch their paws and keep an eye on their surroundings. Also, there is even a brilliant patio where cats will be able to roam freely when the weather is nice. Patrons can also enjoy some sunshine… and it’s a great feature for parties!
At any given time, there are between 6 and 8 cats at Buckminster’s. The cats, sourced from Second Chance Rescue, are on the lookout for their forever homes, but in the meantime they are certainly enjoying these sweet accommodations until the big day comes.
If you’re interested, stop by Buckminster’s this coming Saturday to get the lay of the land, you don’t have to be a cat lover to appreciate these hip environs – you just have to have an appreciation for architecture, yummy café fare, and supportive of coffee for a cause. In the end, when you support the café, you support the cats, which is really what it’s all about.
Learn more about the formation of the business.