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City's first cat cafe opens this weekend; Great Storm Brewing hosts competition

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Hey, meow

When it eventually opens in 2016, Pub Dog Colorado, which we told you about here in January, should be the first U.S. eatery with a variance to allow for dining indoors with one's pup.

But cats have already gained health department approvals to hang out in retail establishments, namely cat cafés, initially launched in Asia more than 15 years ago. Since that time, they've crept across cities internationally, mainly urban settings where owning pets isn't all that common. And now they're popping up much closer to home, firstly in the form of the Denver Cat Company (denvercatco.com), which opened just before the new year.

Even more locally: On Saturday, March 7, and Saturdays henceforth, from 1 to 4:30 p.m., the Kitty Love Cafe and Gallery will open inside of Look What the Cat Brought in Shelter (2129 E. Boulder St., lookwhatthecatbroughtin.org). For $5 (or $10 for a family of four), guests will be able to hang out with felines — those up for adoption in this case — while enjoying tea, coffee or soda and pastries from local bakeries and java stops. To be clear, those treats are included, but further donations are encouraged to help offset costs and to free up proceeds for the shelter's mission. Local art will hang, to be refreshed every few months.

The shelter's Ariel Heart says that interacting with the cats helps socialize them, and that this is one way in which her business — which took over the old Hamlett Spay & Neuter Clinic space in September — can be more visible in the wider community. Hours may expand, she says, if support allows.

Next up, Avalon Manly (a former Indy intern) hopes to launch Avalon's via small-business loans and a Kickstarter campaign (tiny.cc/fomqux) by sometime in August. It would be a full-time gallery and event space on the north side of town and serve wine, beer and coffee (whose preparation would be separated by a glass wall) in the presence of furry ones. Manly says she would partner with the Humane Society of Pikes Peak Region so that guests could adopt cats directly from the cafe, as well.

Great (Storm) opportunity

At last year's inaugural Great Storm Brewing (204 Mount View Lane, #3, greatstormbrewing.com) Home Brew Competition, a lime-coconut cream ale took the prize out of 90 entrants. Accounting for the month or so it takes to make a beer, now's a good time to strategize your brilliant brew if you want to drop an entry off by this year's deadline (April 15 or 16, 5 to 8 p.m.).

From entries, GSB staff curates only one favorite, whose brewer will earn a spot to brew with staff on-site and see the winning beer sold. Plus, that winner gets to drink as much of that beer as he/she wants, while it lasts. All the necessary details homebrewers need are available on the website.

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